The world-renowned Burrell Collection reopened in March after a major refurbishment. Now a modern, greener museum with more space for the Collection, entry is free for all visitors. Hayley Bradshaw from the team tells us her top 5 reasons to visit.
1. Glasgow’s greatest ever gift
Sir William Burrell devoted more than 75 years of his life to amassing, along with his wife, Constance, Lady Burrell, one of the world’s greatest personal art collections. It's renowned for its quality of Chinese art, stained glass and tapestries, as well as its breadth of fine art.
The donation of the Collection to the city was described at the time as: “One of the greatest gifts ever made to any city in the world.” (Sir Hector Hetherington, Principal of University of Glasgow).
Now visitors can get a real insight into the life of the Burrell family, as they are ‘brought back to life’ through digital displays.
2. Set within Glasgow’s scenic Pollok Country Park
Pollok is the largest of Glasgow’s many parks and the only country park within the city boundary. The Burrell is nestled right in the middle, almost like a hidden treasure trove waiting to be discovered.
The museum, now greener and more sustainable, is set within this expansive park. It offers a great day out for all ages and in all seasons; muddy boots will always be welcome in the museum!
Access has also been made easier with the addition of the FREE electric shuttle bus. It runs 7 days a week, through the park, connecting the entrance at 2060 Pollokshaws Road with Pollok House and The Burrell.
Pollok Country Park and its extensive woodlands and gardens attract around 2 million visits each year. Though it still provides a quiet sanctuary for both visitors and wildlife. The park is also home to the famous Pollok Highland cattle fold and you can regularly see them out in the fields.
3. Digital at Burrell brings visitors closer to the Collection
New displays give visitors a better understanding of the international significance of artworks. As well as the people who made them and some of the people who have owned them.
In total 225 displays are spread across 24 galleries. Innovative digital elements such as video walls, interactives and hybrid systems help people engage with the stories behind the Collection.
4. Old favourites
The Collection is home to the Wagner garden carpet, one of the earliest surviving Persian garden carpets in the world. It has rarely been on public display since The Burrell Collection first opened in 1983. The museum’s refurbishment and redisplay mean this priceless carpet will now be on long-term display.
Other highlights include Chinese pottery and porcelain produced over 5,000 years. This makes it one of the most significant collections of Chinese Art in Europe. Paintings by renowned French artists including Manet, Cézanne and Degas are also very impressive. My personal favourite are the medieval treasures including stained glass, arms and armour. Plus there are over 200 tapestries and 150 carpets, which are among the finest in the world.
5. Shop and eat
The Burrell Collection shop has a huge range of products, many of which are exclusive to The Burrell and include pocket money priced items. There’s something for everyone!
The Burrell also has a range of dining options including two coffee stops as well as the main restaurant with a new outdoor terrace. All serve excellent, innovative Scottish produce.