Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Amy Irvine

04 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Situated in the centre of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is the focal point of Kelvingrove Park, an 84 acre green area created in 1852 as a place of recreation for the city’s residents.

The history of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove houses one of Europe’s great art collections – it’s collection of French 19th century paintings includes works by Monet, Gauguin and Renoir. Further highlights are Rembrandt’s ‘Man in Armour’, ‘Christ and the Adulteress’ by Titian and Salvador Dali’s famous ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’. Scottish art includes paintings by the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys, as well as the art of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The museum also has one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world and a vast natural history collection.

The construction of Kelvingrove was partly financed by the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition. It was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901 as the Palace of Fine Arts for the Glasgow International Exhibition held in that year.

There is an urban myth in Glasgow that the building was accidentally built back-to-front, and the architect jumped from one of the towers in despair upon realising his mistake. However, the grand entrance was always intended to face into Kelvingrove Park.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum today

The museum re-opened in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment, holding 22 galleries with the exhibits organised into two halves; Life and Expression. The Life galleries represent natural history (including taxidermy), human history (such as artifacts from ancient Egypt) and prehistory while the Expression galleries include the fine art collections. In 2007 it was the most visited museum in the UK outside London, and since then it remains one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions.

Getting to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

The gallery is located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin. It is adjacent to Kelvingrove Park, and situated near the main campus of the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.

The nearest stations are Partick and Exhibition Centre, and buses 17 and 77 stop just outside.

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