The Burrell Collection
The Burrell Collection is a major cultural asset for the City of Glasgow and the nation, and is of international significance. The museum and its Collection which numbers almost 9,000 items, is managed by Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council. It has a rich and varied scope, ranging from ancient prehistoric artefacts to ground-breaking works by Impressionists such as Manet and Degas. Its particular strengths lie in late medieval art, Chinese ceramics, bronzes and jades, Islamic pile carpets and French nineteenth-century paintings.
The Collection, which reflects Sir William Burrell’s lifelong passion for art and history, was donated to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell. The decision to give the Collection to Sir William’s home city in 1944 has been described as one of the greatest gifts a city has ever received.
The Burrell Collection closed to the public in October 2016, allowing work to commence on an estimated £66 million (€74 million, US $85 million, CA $113 million, AU$118) refurbishment of the Grade A category building and redisplay of the collections, creating a new visitor experience. Before the museum’s temporary closure, only some 20 per cent of the exceptional Collection was on display.
Plans for the refurbishment and redisplay of the Burrell will see the museum’s public space increase by 83% and gallery space increase by 35% with store rooms on the lower ground floor open to the public for the first time.
As well as improved facilities including café and retail opportunities, landscaped terraces will link the museum to its parkland setting, enhancing the visitor experience.
A re-interpretation of treasures of the Collection will also tell much more of a story about their importance and how they were collected, with an increase in artworks on display across the museum’s collections.
Refurbishment plans will also turn the building into an energy efficient, modern museum. In addition, a much greater proportion of the 9,000-strong Collection will be accessible with stores visible to the public for the first time.
Throughout the Burrell’s refurbishment an exhibition of works from the Burrell will be on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow, allowing citizens and visitors alike to enjoy some of Burrell’s treasures.
An international tour is also showcasing works from the Collection, raising the Burrell’s profile worldwide and promoting Glasgow as one of the world’s great cultural cities.