The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The Kelvingrove was opened in 1901, a few months after the death of Queen Victoria, but the heart of its Old Masters collection and the impulse that created such a storehouse of treasures - art, natural history, arms and armor, even a real Spitfire - is Victorian to the core.
Among the highlights is:
- Salvador Dali's masterpiece, Christ of St John of the Cross
- a new gallery devoted to The Glasgow Boys, the city's late nineteenth century school of Impressionist and Post Impressionist painters.
- Natural history galleries including a veritable Noah's Ark of taxidermed animals
- Scottish history,Scottish Art
- An extensive 19th century collection of European Old Masters.
- Address:Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum,Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG
- Tel: +44 (0)141 276 9599
- Hours: Monday to Thursday and Saturday 10a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Sunday from 11a.m.
The Riverside Museum
The Riverside Museum, Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel, is Glasgow's newest, having opened in June 2011. It occupies a striking Clydeside building designed by internationally respected architect Zaha Hadid. The museum's riverside facade is entirely of glass, and looks out on the tall ship Glenlee, a restored Clyde build ship. (Admission is charged to board the Glenlee).
The emphasis of this museum is public transportation in all its forms with a focus on Glasgow industry and technology. Exhibits range from the world's oldest pedal bicycle to a locomotive from the South African Railways. The 3,000 object collection ranges from classic cars to a dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Two for the Road.
The Riverside also has three, fully recreated Glasgow Streets, spanning most of the 20th century, where visitors can board some of the period vehicles.
Story DisplaysA n innovation at the Riverside Museum is the creation of story displays that put objects into context and tell the stories of the people who made and used them and the role they played in Glasgow history. Among the key story displays are the Hanging Bicycle Velodrome, the Wall of Cars, South African Locomotive, No9 Tank Engine, Motorbike Deck and the Ship Launch Show.
Lovers of scale models will enjoy the 159 ship models of Clyde-built ships on display - a fraction of the museum's collection of 788 models, by the way. In keeping with the storytelling approach, each model tells a fascinating story. For example:
- The Queen Mary - visitors can see what life was like on the Cunard luxury liner from an enormous model
- The Athenia - Torpedoes by the Nazis on the day Britain declared war, the Athenia was carrying 1,000 civilians to safety. The display includes first hand witness accounts of the tragedy.
Riverside Museum Essentials
- Address:Riverside Museum, 100 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS
- Telephone: +44 (0)141 287 2720
- Hours: Open every day except Christmas,Boxing Day, January 1 and 2. Early closing on Hogmanay, December 31. 10a.m. to 5p.m. Mon-Thurs and Saturday, and from 11a.m. Friday and Sunday
- Visit their website
More of Glasgow's Outstanding Free Museums
- The Burrell Collection - Named for donor William Burrell, this museum in Pollok Country Park, contains the largest art collection ever created by one person. It's 8,000 objects include works by Rodin, Degas and Cézanne, as well as late medieval art, Chinese and Islamic art.
- The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) - Scotland's most visited modern art gallery, in the center of the city.
- Provand's Lordship - Glasgow's oldest house dates from 1471. It now houses a collection of 17th century furniture and has a medicinal herb garden.
- Scotland Street School Museum - This museum tells the story of Scottish education from Victorian times to 1950s and 1960s. Probably of more interest to visitors and connoisseurs of architecture and design, the building itself was designed by of Glasgow's most famous architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The museum includes a Mackintosh Room where you can study the architect's plans and designs for the building.