The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery is one of the most popular museums in the United Kingdom outside of London. This Glasgow landmark has 22 galleries displaying more than 8,000 objects including major works of art.
Built as part of the Galsgow International Exhibition of 1901 which was held in Kelvingrove Park, the building that is now the Kelvingrove was originally the exhibition's Palace of Fine Art. Part of the financing for the building came from profits earned by an earlier exhibition held in the park in 1888.
John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen of London were selected as the architects for the building through an open competition. The red sandstone building is in the Spanish Baroque style. It is an impressive example of grand turn-of-the century architecture. Contrary to popular myth, the building was not mistakenly built back-to-front. The main entrance faces Kelvingrove Park rather than Argyl Road because the building was designed to be part of the exhibition taking place in that park.
The building underwent an extensive restoration and refurbishment between 2003 and 2006 at a cost of some 28 million British pounds. Among other things, additional display space, an education wing, a shop and a new restaurant were added It was re-opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, an indication of the museum's importance and popularity.
Kelvingrove is not exclusively devoted to art. Its exhibits cover other subjects such as natural history, arms and armour,and local history. There is a large concert organ from the 1901 exhibition in the central hall and a World War II Spitfire is suspended from the ceiling in one of the galleries.
However, the fact that it also covers other subjects does not diminish Kelvingrove' position as an important art museum. It has a gallery dedicated to 19th French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting that includes works by Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Cassat, Cezane, Gaugain, Matisse and Van Gogh. It is home to Rembrandt's “Man in Armor” and a special room is dedicated to the museum's best known work Salvator Dali's “Christ of St.Hohn on the Cross.”
Kelvingrove is also strong in Scottish Art. It has galleries devoted to the Scottish Colourists and to the Galsgow Boys.
For information about visiting, see the Glasgowlife website.
Above: The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.
Below: The central hall.
For more places to see art in Scotland:
Scottish National Gallery
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Places to see art index
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Places to see art - - Glasgow, Scotland - - Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery