The Burrell Collection

The Burrell Collection is one of the largest collections of artwork to ever be amassed by one person. It was bequeathed to the city of Glasgow by the millionaire Sir William Burrell and it features some 8000 items. The collection is so big that only about 3000 of the items in the collection are on display at any one time – a massive amount that will require a lot of time if you are to enjoy them all. Sir William Burrell was a ship owner who had managed to acquire these beautiful artworks mainly due to his profession and wealth. The items vary in form and subject matter quite substantially and are currently on display in a specially constructed building in Pollok Country Park in Glasgow.

For Sir William Burrell, collecting art was a life-long passion which he started pursuing in his teens. In the 80 years that he pursued this passion, he was able to collect an amazing number and variety of art from across the globe, putting him in the spotlight as one of history’s most remarkable private collectors. In 1944, he and his wife decided that this excellent collection was best left to the people of Glasgow and they signed the Deed of Gift to the City of Glasgow, stating this fact. They desired the collection be housed roughly 16 miles from the center of the city where the artwork could be properly displayed and not be negatively affected by the air pollution of the city. Unfortunately by the time Burrell passed away in 1958, a suitable site had still not been found. The perfect location presented itself in 1967 when Mrs. Anne Maxwell Macdonald and her family decided to gift Pollok House and the surrounding estate to the City of Glasgow. The estate provided the perfect setting for the collection and soon plans were set in action to design and build and appropriate gallery. The resulting building was opened in 1983 and special care was taken to ensure that it fitted in with its surroundings. The light and airy gallery is situated in woodland which gives The Burrell Collection a refreshing sense of life and tranquility. The surrounding park and woodland are often used for picnics and walking which further adds to the allure of the park and the gallery.

Today you can travel the world and go back in time as you make your way around this beautiful gallery, taking in the many different facets of art and history that are presented to the public. You will find medieval tapestries and paintings, stained glass and beautifully carved English oak furniture. You will discover artworks by renowned Europeans such as Degas and Cézanne and you will be able to become better acquainted with the art of China, Egypt, Rome and Greece. Some of the art has been incorporated into the building itself and inspiration is everywhere. So visit this splendid gallery and discover this world of art for yourself.

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