One of Scotland’s most popular free attractions, Kelvingrove has twenty two themed, state-of-the-art galleries, with interactive exhibits showing off an estimated 8,000 objects.
The extensive, wide-ranging and internationally significant collections at Kelvingrove include natural history, arms and armour. There is also a wide variety of artistic works from many art movements and periods of history.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe’s greatest art collections. The most visited free attraction in the whole of Scotland, Kelvingrove also holds the accolade of being the most visited museum in Britain outside London.
The purpose-built museum first opened in 1901, and was always designed to have a wide-ranging scope. In July 2006, following a century of visitor interest, there was a three-year restoration and redisplay project. Kelvingrove was re-organised into a facility of two halves: Life and Expression.
The museum’s Life galleries represent natural history, human history and prehistory. The Expression galleries include the fine art collections. A noteworthy part of the art was donated on his death by the estate of Archibald McLellan, a local coachbuilder and town councilor who also collected a vast amount of artworks in the 19th century.
The collection of Victorian era French paintings includes works by Monet, Gauguin and Renoir. Further highlights are Rembrandt’s ‘Man in Armour’, ‘Christ and the Adulteress’ by Titian and the iconic painting ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’ by Salvador Dali. Work at the Kelvingrove also include a range of homegrown talent from up and coming, and more established Glaswegian artists.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has held a special place in the hearts of Glaswegians for generations. Housed in a truly magnificent building, Kelvingrove seeks to bring art, history and nature to life.
The museum’s expansive selection of curiosities makes it well worth a special trip to Glasgow, or even as part of a wider trip to Scotland. The revamp of 2003-2006 made it so much more than just “as good as new”. Kelvingrove now offers more display space than ever before and is fully accessible to wheelchair users. Admission is remains free for all.
An Asian elephant affectionately known as Sir Roger is another big museum attraction alongside the artworks. Kelvingrove even has an entire Spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling of the museum’s west court.
The Museum is housed in the grounds of Kelvingrove Park overlooking Argyle Street, one of the oldest throughways in the City. Situated on the banks of the River Kelvin, a tributary of the Clyde, it is close to Glasgow University, half a mile north of the SECC, and a mile and a half west of Queen Street Station and Glasgow city centre. There is limited parking available at Kelvingrove, but being placed so centrally, it is easily accessible by bus. The numbers 3 and 77 literally stop by the steps just outside.
The totally refurbished building is an attraction in its own right and Kelvingrove provides a great day out for families. The many newer interactive displays have been designed with children in mind. Alongside the exhibits and artefacts, Kelvingrove also has a restaurant, a café and popular gift shop.