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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove, Glasgow


This evening,  am focusing on the Art Gallery and Museum at Kelvingrove located in Kelvin Park in the West End of Glasgow. The building was designed by J.W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen  and opened in 1901 as the centrepiece of the International Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park. Design style is Spanish Baroque and the building is constructed of red sandstone.

Kelvingrove is now one of the most popular and respected Gallery/Museums in Europe and attracts over one million visitors each year. Entrance is free.

There is a vast array of objects on display, extending to some 8,000 in total including acclaimed art work ( Rembrandt, Titian and the Impressionists), weaponry and armour, Dali’s iconic Christ of St John of the Cross, items from ancient Egypt, Charles Rennie Mackintosh display and much more.

This establishment is usually a ‘must see’ for visitors to Glasgow.

Above is a recent, seasonal image with the River Kelvin in the foreground.

Elsewhere today, I have been working on a couple of new tour enquiries for 2011 and posted information on Henderson family history to my Glasgow Ancestry blog.

Weather here as been relatively mild but temperatures are predicted to drop again soon.

This evening, my focus is on the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art with particular emphasis on the history of the building in the context of the commercial development of Glasgow.

Today, the building houses an art collection displayed on four floors with each floor designed to reflect the elements air, water, earth and fire.  However, the building actually dates back to the 18th century and the prosperity generated by the tobacco trade with America.

The plot of land on which the building sits lies at the junction of Ingram Street and Queen Street, in the city centre. This plot was purchased in 1788 by one Richard Cunninghame, then one of  Glasgow’s richest tobacco ‘Lords’ . Cunninghame then proceeded to build a lavish mansion at a cost reputed to be GBP10,000, a huge sum of money for those days. Unfortunately, the architect of the building remains unknown. In 1789 the mansion was sold to John Stirling and then again in 1817 to the Royal Bank of Scotland. In 1827 the Royal Bank sold the building to a consortium of business interests and was re-named the Royal Exchange. In 1884 an equestrian statute depicting the Duke of Wellington on his horse ‘Copenhagen’  was erected in front of the building where it remains to this day (see image below).

Post WW2, in 1949, Glasgow City Council purchases the building for GBP105,000 and then in 1996 the building is opened as the Gallery of Modern art.

It should be noted that the interior still contains traces of the original 18th century mansion house.

Clearly, the building has quite an illustrious history linked in with development of the early America colonies and Glasgow’s prominent role in tobacco trading.

Gallery of Modern Art

Modern Art Gallery, Glasgow

Elsewhere today, I have been working on the detail on two group tours of Scotland for next year plus a private, ancestry themed tour of Paisley.

On the weather front, we are enjoying a relatively mild spell giving rise to snow melt. However, the next cold snap is on the horizon!

This evening, my blog theme is the famous Clyde Arc or ‘Squinty’ Bridge which spans the River Clyde linking Finnieston Street (north) with Govan Road and Pacific Drive (south).

The bridge provides a four lane crossing, was opened in 2006 and cost GBP20.3M to build. Designed by Edmund Nuttall Ltd.

Below are a selection of images showing various facets of the bridge and including nearby equally famous sites such as the ‘Armadillo’ conference centre and the Finnieston Crane.

This ‘Squinty Bridge’ stands out on the Glasgow waterfront skyline. Close by can be found the Science Centre with its famous tall tower.

Clyde Arc

Squinty Bridge, Glasgow

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