Kelvingrove Gallery was built to house the 1901 International Exhibition. This red sandstone building still provokes strong ... More
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Gallery was built to house the 1901 International Exhibition. This red sandstone building still provokes strong reactions today and most people in Glasgow either decidedly love it or loathe it. According to local legend, the gallery was built back to front by mistake, but this is just a myth - it was intended to face the river rather than the road. The collection within, ranges from local historical art to Rodin sculptures, natural history specimens of varying interest and a Storm Trooper costume from the original Star Wars films. Admission is free. In 2007 a major remodel was completed, making Kelvingrove even more of a must see Glasgow attraction, than it was before. There are exciting new exhibitions, with a special emphasis on involving youngsters, so bring the whole family and head for a fun filled educational visit.
There is something for everybody at Kelvingrove and since the refurbishment it is easier to choose the areas which interest you. It's free to enter ( great for those with children who just want a short visit) and child friendly. From interesting Scottish paintings & scultures to a real Spitfire hanging in one of the gallery's wings & a myriad of stuffed animals... there is bound to be something of interest. There is not much information about the exhibits ( which for adults we found was the only downfall)but perfect for children. Try to visit when there is an organ recital ( often at Saturday lunchtime) as the acoustics send shivers up your spine no matter where you are in the museum!
Since it's re-opening, I have visited several times and still can't make up my mind whether I like the redesign or not. If you've kids, they'll love it - the explanations of various exhibits are more child-orientated and encourage discussion (e.g. the section with endangered species). However, I don't feel there is any place for exhibits regarding violence to women or mental institutions. That particular section is my lease fave and I avoid it now. The hall with the Spitfire above the giraffe is all over the palce and there's no logic to it's layout at all. The areas upstairs with the old Chinaware, etc. appears to have been closed off / removed as well. Detest the cafe area in the main foyer - kids used to love running about there, but no more - the familiar smell, for those who remember is has been replaced by brewing coffee. And the small kids section is even worse than the previous one - it's shrunk! Upstairs used to be a quiet haven for those who wished to spend some solitude, appreciating the various art exhibits. Now there are exhibits upstairs as well as paintings, so there's no peace, not even during weekdays, when school trips descend! The layout of some of the paintings leaves a lot to be desired - large paintings crammed into small spaces so you can't step back to view them in all their glory - what were they thinking?! Some exhibits were missing also, despite there being a description on the wall (e.g. the pterosaur). I think that they've done well to make it more child friendly, however, they've gone a bit OTT on it.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has a beautiful building and wonderful collections. Unfortunately I believe the redesign is a complete failure. I have never before felt angered by exhibition design, but that best describes my reaction. The wall texts are incredibly patronising. It is bad enough when all they can do is ask you how the colour red makes you feel, but it is far worse to have one asking the burning question of where can I buy postcards with the answer that there are three shops available. Worse still were the multiple occasions where there was a photo of the painting right next to the original at nearly the same scale. I had hoped that perhaps the ground floor was a children�s zone and that things would improve upstairs, but sadly no. Museums are not just places that are good to take the children on a rainy day.
This is re-opening July 2006 so should be good after three year refurbishment. Star of the paintings is Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali. Also a real Spitfire is to be displayed after the makeover.
This is a great place for both adults and children. It has lots of intersting things to see and do and a place to refresh with a cafe and souvenir shop. More is the pity that it is closed for refurbishment until 2006/7