The first exhibition at the newly refurbished Burrell explores the story behind the collection

The story of the birth of the “wonderful” Burrell Collection will be discovered in the museum’s first exhibition since it reopened after a major refurbishment.

he Burrells’ Legend: A Great Gift to Glasgow, which opens on Saturday 27 August, ranks the collection and legacy of Sir William Burrell and his wife Constance, Lady Burrell.

The collection was amassed by Sir William Burrell and presented to Glasgow in 1944 by the shipping magnate and his wife.

The museum, located in Glasgow’s Pollok Park, closed to the public in October 2016 and reopened in March this year following a £68.25 million project to increase gallery space. up 35%.


A sculpture by Camille Claudel will be on display (Iona Shepherd / Glasgow Museum / PA)

The new exhibition features more than 100 objects that help tell the story of Burrell’s evolution, from a couple’s private art collection to a civic museum of international significance.

Laura Bauld, Burrell project curator at Glasgow Life Museums, who organized the exhibition together, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work on this exhibition. Sir William Burrell and Constance, Lady Burrell, have made a lifelong commitment to collectors, and their generosity in donating their wonderful collection to Glasgow is astounding.

“Their gift has allowed generations of people, like me, to enjoy breath-taking art from around the world and across time.”

She added: “Burrell is a thorough and complete collector, we could have shown much more.

Looks like the first exhibition in the new Burrell will reveal more about the couple themselvesDuncan Dornan, Glasgow Life Museum and Collection

“This first exhibition is full of amazing objects and the stories behind them. I hope people enjoy discovering more about the Turret and how the world-class museum is located in Glasgow. “

Before they decided to donate, the Burrells rarely collected objects from ancient civilizations.

However, when they committed to giving their collection to Glasgow, Sir William took care to ensure it was more representative of world history.

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The Burrells donated about 6,000 objects in 1944 but at the time of their deaths: Sir William in 1958 and Lady Constance in 1961; they gave about 3000 more.

The exhibition explains Burrell’s new focus on collecting and showcases ceramics, jewelry and art from ancient Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia as well as Japanese prints and a variety of objects. The medieval period included textiles, tapestries, stained glass, and armor.

One of the objects on display is a mosaic floor piece from 100 BC.

Bought in 1954, it shows a rooster with golden wings and long green tail feathers, and once decorated the floor of a wealthy Roman mansion.

For the first time ever, Burrells’ Legend: A Great Gift to Glasgow will also feature some of the works Burrells donated to the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The family lived in Hutton Castle on the Border and in 1949 they donated 42 paintings to Berwick, establishing the Berwick Art Gallery.

The exhibition also explores finding somewhere to build the Burrell Collection and some designs for the museum.

These include proposals to display the collection in a building shaped like three interconnected cows, while another would place it underground, covered by a roof made of five domes. large glass, protruding from the Pollok estate.

Also on show will be Mallard Rising, by Glasgow Boy Joseph Crawhall, and a sculpture by Camille Claudel, acquired by the museum in 2021.

L’Implorante is the first sculpture by a woman to join the collection and it is believed to be the UK’s first public collection to feature a work by French sculptor Claudel.

Duncan Dornan, Head of Collections and Museum of Life Glasgow, said: “It looks like the first exhibition in the new Burrell will reveal more about the couple themselves and the story behind the creation of the museum. wonderful place where their collection is kept.”

The exhibition will run until April 16, 2023, and admission is free. The first exhibition at the newly refurbished Burrell explores the story behind the collection

Fry Electronics Team

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