On our weekend getaway to Scotland, we had a stop over in Glasgow to visit family. It was obvious to do some sightseeing before we head home. We ended up taking a detour and visited The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.
Personally, I love history and art. Hence, my fascination for museums comes as no surprise. As a child, my father took me to museums around our city while he wore the hat of a personal guide. Think of it like an elaborated history lesson but followed with chocolate ice cream 😛
Witnessing school children in the museums accompanied by teachers constantly educating them about various eras and the rich history all while keeping them interested brought back a lot of pleasant memories. Although, I wish Indian Schools adopted these kind of practical learning more rather than asking us to mug up textbook after textbook.
But let’s move on and talk about this magnificent Museum and Art Gallery I visited in Glasgow. 😛
Spanish Baroque Style Architecture
Built in a Spanish Baroque Style Architecture using red sandstone, makes the museum looks nothing short of a extravagant palace. It is about 20 mins slow walk from the Glasgow Botanical Garden and features a total of 22 galleries inside.
The Iconic Elvis Presley Statue
We were mesmerized with The Iconic Elvis Presley aka “The King Of Rock & Roll” as soon as we climbed up the stairs to the Art Galleries. Mom is a huge Elvis Presley Fan and she quickly pointed it out with a glint in her eyes and I found her humming his tunes for quite some time after we walked past. I think the one song I like the most has to be – “Can’t Help Falling In Love” 😛
Outstanding European Art Galleries
The arches in the corridor are literally Instagram worthy! 😛
A panel in one of the galleries said they hung the paintings at a low height on purpose. As per their research, people spend more time admiring them this way and it makes it more interactive to children. It is impressive to know the amount of thought that has been given in curating all the items displayed here.
The artworks truly inspired us and we ended up having an elaborate conversation on the materials, tools and the framing done on these master pieces on our way back home. So fancy and eloquent.
Also, I learned that Still Life as a genre in painting began with Dutch Painters in the 16th & 17th Century. All of the botanical illustrations and portraits were so life-like. Such beautiful masterpieces and in such excellent condition.
The Dramatic Sculptures
I found the Hanging Heads installation quite dramatic in nature with its different expressions of the human emotions. To be honest, I seen a lot of extremely intricate sculptures jotted around the museum.
A half woman and half bird sculpture derived from the Greek Mythology by Mary Pownhall named as The Harpy Calaeno is just one of the sculptures that caught my eye
Natural History Exhibits
Natural History Museums creep me out. Especially because of the Night at The Museum and The Paddington Movie I watched recently. The idea of Taxodermy seems rather haunting in a way but oh well!
It gives a lot of information on how the animals are used or have been used over the years and how we try to conserve them.
For one, I learnt we used Rhino Horns for medicinal purposes. It was later replaced with aspirin and many other products to conserve Rhinos.
Arms & Armour Exhibits
The military collection displayed in the West Hall has immense knowledge on their warfare strategies and weapons they carried. I was fascinated to learn how they came about using Armour inspired by the hard shell on animals.
A Metal Shield with Islamic Scripture on it was also displayed. I am guessing it shows the faith some of the soldiers might have believed in to restore hope during war time. Another thing that left me amazed was the Execution of Mary Queen Of Scots painting by Robert Herdman. I had visited the Stirling Castle a few days prior and titled it as my favorite Castle I have visited so far.
But OMG! A Queen found guilty of treason is beheaded by another Queen. That is is some Gothic drama right there. 😛
The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin
The stain glassed masterpiece compromises of twenty panels and is the first of four windows made by the Irish Artist – Harry Clarke. It was rather interesting to learn this was built in 1923 as a memorial to those who died in World War I.
I feel blessed to have been present during a daily organ recital. The organ which was built in 1901 combined with such talented musicians is absolutely surreal to watch. Something you do not want to miss on your visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. They feature Daily Organ Recitals for free and the architecture along with the music was all the aesthetics of a heritage museum I crave for.
The Important Stuff
A. The Best time to visit the museum would be during one of their Daily Organ Recitals. It usually takes place between 1:00 to 1:30 ( Mon – Sat) and 3:00 to 3:45 on Sundays.
B. There is free WiFi in the building. 😀
I believe Art Galleries & Museum in particular are a place to be visited time and again looking for inspiration and to learn from the past. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is huge and cannot be covered in a few hours. I chose to spend time learning about things that picked my interest the most. Saying that,it would be a shame to say these are the only highlights there is to it. I promise to visit again and discover more and write about it someday.
The best part? The entry is free and so are the Organ Recitals. Although, there is a donation box if you wish to donate.
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