Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum again

The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley – as good old Robert Burns said, and so after really looking forward to the autumn holidays we ended up not being able to go away, just as well we hadn’t actually booked anything. When a good builder knocks on your door and says he can fit you in earlier than planned you just have to grab him rather than wait until the spring. So the west, Oban and the Isle of Mull will have to wait. We only managed one day in Glasgow instead and chose to go to the Kelvingrove, my home from home.

They are very relaxed about people taking photographs unlike some places and I thought you might like to see some Charles Rennie Mackintosh designs and other Scottish art nouveau designers.

This is from the original Miss Cranston’s Tearoom. I love the designs but I’m sure that Miss Cranston must have asked him to design chairs which were uncomfortable to sit in for any length of time, fair enough I suppose, she obviously wanted people to move on so she could make more money.

These gesso panels by Mackintosh’s wife, Margaret Macdonald, are lovely – ethereal women are a recurring theme.

I think the stained glass is my favourite, it’s such a pity that the chair is positioned so badly here.

This type of stained glass is typical of what you commonly find in a ‘middle class’ Edwardian tenement building in Glasgow. This one is small and quite plain compared with some. The front doors and vestibule doors usually have stained glass or painted glass panels in them. I think this one came from the bottom of a window. The panel would have been fitted over the bottom of the glass from the inside. You can still buy panels like these quite cheaply from reclamation yards. I’ve got a few painted glass ones which I intend to make into light boxes – some day!

If you’re into CRM and The Glasgow Style you’ll want to visit Kelvingrove.

Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery


Kelvingrove Museum And Art Gallery

This Museum and Art Gallery is a real home from home to just about everyone who grew up in or around the Glasgow area. It is the most visited museum in Britain if you don’t count the London ones which obviously get masses of tourist trade.

I think our mothers took us from a very early age partly because it was somewhere to take kids which was warm and dry, which is always a bonus when you live in such a wet climate.

It’s a great habit to get into though and I’m sure that it has given millions of people a real love and appreciation of the arts over the years.

We were deprived of it for four whole years whilst refurbishment took place and I was chewing at the bit to get there when it re-opened. So was everybody else apparently because the place was absolutely heaving with people and it was great to see so many youngsters for whom it must have been their first visit.

Kelvingrove was built for the 1901 International Exhibition and although other buildings were erected for it they were only ever meant to be temporary for the duration of the exhibition.

The International Exhibition was a great success and the profits from it were kept in a fund which was used to purchase art works and artefacts.

It seems hard to believe but in 1951 the fund still had £8,200 in it. In London the Salvador Dali painting called Christ of St. John of the Cross was being exhibited with a price tag of £12,000 on it.

I think there must have been quite a lot of haggling but eventually Dali accepted the £8,200 and the Dali belonged to Glasgow. Much to the horror of quite a lot of people who thought it was a ridiculous sum of money to give to a living artist.

It must be worth several million now and although I really don’t like religious art I must admit to a fondness for this one. Especially the bottom section of it. If you happen to be in the Glasgow area be sure to check it out.

When people think of Dali nowadays they think of his surrealist art. My favourite has always been the melting clocks. For more information on him check out Echostains’s blogpost here.