Glasgow is famous for its arts, housing many world class installations across the city you will be able to go and view some very impressive displays. Ticket prices can vary depending on what you want, but are usually pretty cheap. The vast majority of museums and galleries are dotted around the city centre so access to them from the Georgian Guest House is pretty quick and cheap. Many of the city’s collections were donated by influential figures over the years and as such many are free to visit. However all of them are fascinating places to see and will enlighten your knowledge of art and Scottish history.
Situated in the city centre near Buchanan Street, accessible from Buchanan Street and St Enoch underground stations or Argyll Street and Queen Street over ground stations, the Gallery of Modern Art is a relatively recent addition to Glasgow’s art scene. The gallery is housed in a neoclassical building in the Royal Exchange Square. Built in 1778 as the town house of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy tobacco lord, since then the building has been used for a number of different purposes. In 1954, Glasgow District Libraries moved Stirling’s Library into the building. Upon the return of the library to Miller Street, the building was refurbished to house the city’s contemporary art collection. Opened in 1996 it is the second most visited contemporary art gallery outside London, offering exhibitions and workshops to Glasgow’s inhabitants for a cheap price.
The collection was put together by Sir William Burrell, a wealthy industrialist, shop owner and art collector who gifted it to the city in 1944. The gift was bestowed upon the city on the condition that the collection was to be kept 16miles from Glasgow’s city centre to show the works to the biggest audience, and avoid the damaging effects of the air pollution at the time. The newly appointed trustees spent over 20 years trying to find a suitable home for the collection, which was a daunting meeting all the criteria set out in the Trust Deeds. However when The Pollock Estate was gifted to the city in 1967 the trustees decided to use the new building, after waiving some of the clauses in the, allowing the collection to be housed only 3 miles from the city centre.
William Hunter, in 1783, gifted the collection to the University of Glasgow. His instructions were “… to be well and carefully packed up and safely conveyed to Glasgow and delivered to the Principal and Faculty of the College of Glasgow to whom I give and bequeath the same to be kept and preserved by them and their successors for ever, in such sort, way, manner and form as shall seem most fit and most conducive to the improvement of the students of the said University of Glasgow”.The museum first opened in 1807 in a specially constructed building just off Glasgow’s High Street, near the original location of the university campus. When the university moved to its new site at Gilmorehill (to escape overcrowding and pollution in the city centre at the time) the museum moved too. The Hunterian Collection was transferred to the universities present site and assigned halls in the Sir George Gilbert Scott’s neo-gothic building.
Over looked by Glasgow University is the Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum situated in a large formal park which includes the meandering River Kelvin. Kelvingrove is an internationally respected gallery and museum housing one of Europe’s greatest civic collections, including the famous painting, ‘Christ of St. John of the Cross’ by Salvador Dali.