Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Visit to the National Museum of Scotland

On Wednesday, 21st June, Friends returned to Edinburgh to visit the new displays in the Chamber Street Museum. We were fortunate that we had an introduction by Alison Taubman, Principal Curator, Communications and Technology, to the Science and Technology galleries and by Godfrey  Evans, Principal Curator, European Decorative Arts , to the Art and Design galleries. There is so much to see in all the galleries that it was good to have their help in navigating them.
 We were told that there had been discussion with the public about what should be available and that many, who remembered the working models from their childhood visits, had asked for them to be restored. There are indeed working models:  John Elder’s engine for ships, a paddle steamer   and a hand prosthesis were a few of many. When we were there, the average age of the visitors must have been about 20!
Of particular interest in Art and Design were objects from the 10th Duke of Hamilton’s collection, a display of Phoebe Anne Traquair’s work and the display of costume through the ages including the Jean Muir collection.
Items from The Galloway Hoard had just been put on show so we were able to get an early look at silver items from this important find.
Three hours was only sufficient to allow us to get a taste of what is on show and we left intending to return another time. You may wish to explore the web site National Museum of Scotland
Thanks to Margaret Anderson for arranging this and to our driver Ian. 


Monday, 5 June 2017

Visit to Glasgow Museums Resource Centre: June 2017


This year, the Friends assisted in the purchase of four portraits of members of the Glassford family. Dr Anthony Lewis met with 30 friends at GMRC to show the portraits and to explain their relationship to the Glassford family portrait which hangs in the People’s Palace. The portraits are of Mr and Mrs John Glassford and   Mr and Mrs Thomas Hopkirk.
© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection


We were also able to see the wine glass from the Hodge Podge club which was purchased with help from the Friends earlier this year.

More information about these objects is in the Newsletter which is sent to all members of FoGM.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


Marion and Richard Maudsley gave a lecture on the bagpipes, Marion contributing the Art and Richard the technical and practical aspects. Bagpipes are found all over Europe and , accordingly, are found in European painting and sculpture.

© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
Marion’s lecture began with the Scottish highland bagpipe, with images from the 18th to 20th centuries. Richard played small pipes from Scotland and Northumberland and explained their  function  and we were able to sing some well-known songs to his accompaniment. We saw paintings by Breughel, Durer and van Dyck which all feature pipers. Marion finished her talk with the Kelvingrove painting of The Pifferari by Turner. This was a fitting end to a comprehensive and accomplished lecture.

What We Did in 2016-2017


I am pleased to report that once again the Friends have approved a good number of Grants and acquisitions of works of art and have supported various other projects carried out by Glasgow Museums.
We have, during this Financial year, 2016/2017, given a further £8,000 towards the re-display of the West Court Gallery. This brings up our Grant to £50,000 which has gone towards the setting up of an African Eco Zone in the West Court.
The Children’s Art Exhibition was very successful this year, as always, and again was supported by the Friends. We gave £350 for the prizes and £1,770 towards the cost of the purchase and engraving.
Other Grants include £1,000 to help towards the purchase the Livingstone diaries and £4,000 towards the Glassford portraits.
We have also helped, with a Grant of £1,250, towards the purchase of an 18th Century Drinking Glass.
In November last year, we agreed to give a Grant of £3,925 towards the publication and symposium of Deep in the Heart of your Brain.
We have been asked for a Grant of £15,000 towards the cost of an Exhibition together with a book called Brushes with War. This has been approved by the Executive Committee.
It was also agreed to match the funding raised for the Burrell Textiles with a Grant of £20,000.
I am happy to report that the Lectures and Excursions have been very popular and have resulted in a net profit which will go towards future grants. We are very grateful to the Guides who give of their time and knowledge freely.

Morag Robertson, Finance Convenor






Friday, 12 May 2017

Joan Eardley Exhibition at Modern 2, Edinburgh

Friends went to Edinburgh on 10th May to see “ A Sense of Place” ,an exhibition of the work of Joan Eardley. The places were, of course, Townhead in Glasgow and Catterline, Aberdeenshire. Our guide was very knowledgeable and relaxed and she linked the paintings and the artist’s life most skilfully. The exhibition has paintings from private collections , rarely seen, and these contribute to the story of her development as an artist.
Catterline paintings include both seascapes and landscapes. There is also a display of drawings and sketches.
On the way back from Edinburgh, the bus passed through the University of Strathclyde and it was scarcely believable to see the transformation from the old Townhead  which we had seen  in photographs and in Eardley’s paintings.
Further information can be obtained at the web site A Sense of Place

The day went very smoothly thanks to the planning by Margaret Anderson . Thanks to her and to our driver.


Some of the Friends
Courtesy of Frances Dryburgh