Glasgow Daily Photo

A photo a day from Scotland’s biggest city.

Burrell Collection

Posted by Jackie on February 25, 2008

The Burrell (which is based in Pollok Park, mentioned a few days ago, and rather fabulously within walking distance of my flat) is one of Glasgow’s gems. It is an art collection which was gifted to the city of Glasgow by Sir William Burrell, a Scottish ship owner, in 1944, on the understanding that it would not be placed in the city centre (he worried about the effects of pollution on the artworks) but in a country location within the city boundaries so that the population of the city could have easy access to it. Bill Bryson, in his book “Notes from a Small Island”, writes “Among the city’s many treasures, none shines brighter, in my view, than the Burrell Collection.”

The collection has quite an eccentric history – after receiving the gift in 1944, the city council couldn’t decide what to do with it, so it was put in a warehouse and forgotten about for over 30 years, before an architect was commissioned to design a purpose-built building to show the collection. Some of the architectural features of the collection (massive medieval doorways and suchlike) are incorporated within the building itself. The collection featured around 8,000 items (of which 3,000 are on display at any one time) and it has since purchased other items to add to the collection, which is of artefacts from ancient Rome and Greece, Gothic stuff from Europe, ancient Chinese pottery, Islamic pottery and tapestries, stained glass and all sorts of stuff. The entrance courtyard also features a number of Rodin sculptures. Over the next few days I’ll show you some pictures I took inside when I went there the other weekend, but today this is the view you have of the specially built home of the collection as you approach walking through Pollok Park.

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