Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Burrell Collection

When in Scotland recently, we visited the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. This extraordinary range of objects was acquired by Sir William Burrell. Throughout his life, he gradually amassed one of the greatest collections ever put together by one person. Then, in 1944, in an extraordinary act of generosity, he and his wife gifted everything to the people of Glasgow on condition that a suitable rural site was found near the city.

Stained glass at the Burrell
The collection finally found its home in the beautiful Pollock Park to the south of the city centre in a modern, purpose-built building. It is a joy in itself with some of the large pieces from his collection, such as the Romanesque doorways and the stained glass, actually built into the structure of the building.

Where it is possible for the artefacts, many of the galleries are spacious and flooded with light and seem to merge with the surrounding park. As we viewed the objects, we looked out through the large plate-glass windows onto woodland and swathes of grass which gave a great sense of peace and unity.

The 8000 plus objects in the collection include paintings, ceramics, sculpture, furniture, textiles and stained glass from around the world and represent both ancient and modern civilisations. It is an extraordinarily eclectic mix of items and I could not begin to include photographs of all my favourites but here are just a few.

A 12 th century doorway built into the fabric of the gallery, originally from Montron in north eastern France ...


.... a stunning Chinese ceramic lion dog ...


... an exquisite brass incense burner from the 17th or 18th century, also from China ...


... a lovely almost graphic pen and ink drawing of a horse and jockey...


... a piece of stained glass enlarged in a display cabinet ( I especially enjoyed the interplay between the stained glass itself and the reflections off the glass - got potential, I think!) ...


...and last of all in this post, an exquisite 16 th (or 17 th?) century bead work basket - quite extraordinary work and good to finish on a textile...


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tour and some highlights from the collection. Sounds as if you had a wonderful trip. I love that last piece...so rich looking!

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  2. It was a wonderful trip - with lots to inspire!

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  3. Thank you for your comment. Looks as if you had an interesting holiday. I'm looking forward to mine.

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    1. We did - it was a great time doing things we'd been meaning to do for ages - always satisfying. Enjoy your holiday too when it comes!

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