Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas Lunch 2016

On 12th December, 87 Friends met in Kelvingrove for the Christmas Lunch. There was the opportunity to meet new people and to renew old acquaintance. The food was delicious and the service from the staff was pleasant and efficient. The raffle was a highlight, of course, and all gifts were beautifully wrapped and displayed.
Our grateful thanks to David and the restaurant staff and to Catherine and the shop.
A very Happy Christmas to all our readers and Best Wishes for 2017.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016


Friends had an enjoyable evening at Kelvingrove on Wednesday, 9th November. After a welcome drink and a mince pie, Pippa Stephenson gave an introduction to the life and times of Alphonse Mucha, the subject of the current exhibition at Kelvingrove. Then for an hour and a half we were free to go round the exhibition and to visit the shop. If you haven’t yet seen the exhibition , it ably justifies its title- Alphonse Mucha, In Quest of Beaut y and is well worth a visit or two.
The shop has many articles for Christmas presents and do remember that Friends get a discount all year round.

Thanks are due to Pippa and to staff at Kelvingrove  and in the restaurant but especially to Catherine McGurk for what was a special evening.

Courtesy of Frances Dryburgh

Friday, 21 October 2016

Au Revoir to Burrell

On Friday, 21st October, Friends went to Pollok Park on a glorious autumn day, to have our last look at Burrell for 4 years. We met at Pollok House, where we had a tour from three experienced and knowledgeable guides. Most of us had visited before but there is always something new to see and an intriguing new story to hear.
 Lunch was taken in the Burrell restaurant. Our tours of the Burrell Collection were led by FoGM committee members and long time Burrell Guides, Margaret Anderson and John Rattenbury. The museum was suffused with autumn sunshine, the stained glass sparkled, there were treasures and stories galore and a soprano was recording songs for an STV programme! She sang “Time to say Goodbye”!.  A perfect day.        
Courtesy of Frances Dryburgh

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Glasgow Museums Shop. St Enoch Centre

 Glasgow Museums now has a retail outlet in St Enoch Centre. On 13th October, Friends were invited to the shop for Afternoon tea to see this new venture. The shop is light and bright and well stocked with colourful and interesting items. We enjoyed delicious cakes and tea from fine china and indulged in retail therapy! Thanks are due to Catherine McGurk and her team for their hospitality and we send all good wishes to them in this new venture.
Courtesy Of Frances Dryburgh

Monday, 5 September 2016

Renaissance Prints: Mantegna,Marcantonio and Parmigianino.

 On Monday,5th September, a party of Friends were welcomed to the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, by Deborah Bennet, Chair of their Friends  Association, to see the current exhibition of 16th century prints. Dr Peter Black explained the art and techniques of their production and there was ample time to examine and appreciate the prints.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Visit to Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed

On 19th August,Friends visited the current exhibition at Kelvingrove under the expert guidance of Dr Campbell Price from the University of Manchester. Dr Price, who has excavated at Saqqara , told of the thousands of animal mummies prepared by ancient Egyptians as votive offerings to their gods Examples were on display with explanations of their use and fate. There was a discovery zone to help understand the process of mummification. This well presented exhibition closes on 4th September and is well worth a visit.
Liz Dent and Dr Price before a poster about Saqqara

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Visit to Burrell

Friends attended Burrell on the 24th August at the invitation of the Burrell renaissance team. We were welcomed by James  Robinson who gave an overview of the collection  and introduced the team’s aspirations for the collection and the building which houses it. Rebecca Quinton covered some of the ongoing research into textiles and carpets, particularly mentioning the catalogue of tapestry which is nearing completion and will be published soon. There were tours to parts of the building not usually available to the public and to the stores housing art and furniture.  We also saw the skills needed to conserve textiles and some of the glorious carpets. There was an opportunity to meet with staff informally and to have discussions about the future of the Burrell collection.

 Thanks to all staff for the welcome.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Kelvin Hall Visits

In July and August 120 Friends enjoyed visits to see the newly refurbished Kelvin Hall before it opened to the public.
We saw new storage for Glasgow Museums, the splendid lecture room for Scottish Film Archives and all the sporting facilities. It will make a change being on a treadmill and looking out over leafy views of the West End!
There is also a fascinating display in the main corridor showing all the different activities which have taken place in the Kelvin Hall over the years. Brings back memories to all of us of the slightly older generation!

Well worth a visit.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Invitation: Burrell Renaissance event 24 August from 6pm

There are still spaces left for Friends for the evening event at the Burrell Collection on Wednesday 24 August.

The evening is an opportunity to hear from Curators and other members of the project team working on the major refurbishment and redisplay of the Burrell Collection. There will also be the chance to see spaces which are not usually open to the public such as the stores and the flat on the upper level.

The team look forward to welcoming you.

Please RSVP to: confirming you can attend on the 24th August or call 0141 302 2748

(please note that the wrong number was given out in the newsletter. Glasgow Museums apologises for the confusion. The number above is the correct one to use)

Charlotte di Corpo
Head of Development
Glasgow Life

Monday, 13 June 2016

Visit to Cornwall led by Dr Colin Bailey June 2016

Nineteen Friends travelled to Cornwall for a cultural tour led by Dr Colin Bailey. Our visits included the  Royal Cornwall Museum Truro cathedral, two spectacular houses and gardens, the Lost Gardens of Heligan the Penlee Museum and the Newlyn painters , a pottery in St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden. Then on the last day, we crossed the causeway and climbed  St Michael's Mount We were blessed with good weather and well-informed local guides. Thanks to Colin Bailey and ACE tours.

The group outside Truro cathedral
  Photograph by Jennifer Semple

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

What we did in 2015-2016

Once again the Friends have approved a number of Grants towards the acquisitions of works of art and have supported various other projects carried out by Glasgow Museums.As ever the Children’s Art Exhibition was supported by the Friends, with £1,777.70 going towards the purchase of the medals and the engraving of them. £350.00 was also given for the cash prizes and a further £600.00 was given towards the cost of Display Boards to display the children’s work.A Grant of £9,000.00 was made to Kelvingrove towards the cost of staging the costume exhibition. The Friends also approved a Grant of £3,000.00 to help in the purchase of James Salmon Art Nouveau Furniture.
The largest Grant this year was of £42,587.63 to go towards the Redisplay of the West Court Gallery. The money will help to support an African Eco Zone within the West Court Gallery.
The Museum of Religion staged an exhibition called Angels Galore !and the Friends agreed to grant an amount of £3,500.00 to help towards this.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Dragons, Pomegranates and Pears:Eight of the Burrell Collection’s iconic oriental carpets.

We were privileged to hear Dr Noorah Al Gailani, Curator of Islamic Art, talk about these carpets. Carpets in the collection come from such diverse countries as China, Anatolia, India, Turkestan and Afghanistan. The lecture was illustrated with many colourful images and then we were able to see some precious fragments of carpet from the stores. To add to our tour, we were shown some of the prayer rugs currently on display at the Burrell. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Wally Closes

At our outing to the People’s Palace in Glasgow, Linda Arthur told us about wally closes and wally tiles in the city. Wally refers to the clay used to make the tiles and she took us through their manufacture and decoration in a colourful and comprehensive lecture. What a rich heritage in Glasgow!  We are grateful to the People’s Palace for their hospitality.
© Linda Arthur 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Vermeer and his Contemporaries

Dr Colin Bailey’s well illustrated lecture on “Vermeer and his Contemporaries” attracted a capacity audience. We were introduced to Dutch 17th Century Art, with its hidden,and not so hidden, meanings- some quite surprising! Although we are rightly proud of our own Dutch collection, much more can be seen at the current exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh:

Friday, 15 April 2016

Visit to the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel.

Two giant structures were our destinations in early April - the Kelpies and the
Falkirk Wheel. The skills involved are awesome and we really appreciated
them - even if we felt like pygmies in comparison to both. To top it all, we
had stunning weather and a great guide.

© Margaret Anderson

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Joan Eardley.

Unfortunately, our intended lecturer had to withdraw because of illness but we were ably rescued by Dr. Joanne Meacock who took over at short notice. In a well-illustrated talk, she gave a comprehensive account of Joan Eardley’s life and work and placed her firmly in the canon of twentieth century artists. Glasgow museums have been fortunate to acquire two of Eardley’s pastels from Mrs Kathleen Buchanan.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Who were the Blockade Runners?

If you don’t know the answer to this question you should visit Riverside Museum where there is a fascinating little display on the Blockade Runners – Glasgow’s role in the American Civil War.

On 15th March a group of Friends visited Riverside to see this display and to hear a fascinating lecture from John Messner, Curator Transport and Technology, on the ships built on the Clyde to transport vital supplies needed by the Confederacy because of the naval blockade by the Union side.

We also learned about local business man, John Smith, a supporter of the Confederacy, who is thought to have been the first to fly the Confederate flag in Scotland and were able to view that very flag in the display.

As the Friends enjoyed the lecture so much we hope to invite John to speak to us again, possibly on the subject of railways.

Liz Dent.

A D Vance
Samuel Waters
© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Modern Scottish Women:Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965.

In February we had a most inspiring lecture by Alice Strang, Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and curator of the current exhibition, Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors, 1885 – 1965, at Modern Two in Edinburgh.

In her lecture Alice Strang not only introduced us to some well known women artists but to many whose work richly deserved to be more widely recognized.
The difficulties the women faced, first in accessing training and then because of their gender, in practicing art, provided an interesting insight to the social conditions of the period.
We looked at their work in an entirely different light.

Just a week after the lecture a group of Friends visited Modern Two at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art where the exhibition is being shown.
We were ably led by Margaret Anderson, whose knowledgeable commentary on the coach through to Edinburgh, actually made the M8 seem quite interesting!

At Modern Two, we were divided into two groups for a guided tour of the exhibition
With Alice’s lecture still fresh in our minds we enjoyed the opportunity to see the paintings and sculpture “in the flesh”.

I was struck by how few of the works were landscapes – dictated in most cases by the artists’ domestic circumstances – with only the unmarried Joan Eardley and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham producing any body of work in this category.

A highlight of the show, among all the portraits, figure studies and still lives was Glasgow’s own “A Girl of the Sixties c. 1900” by Bessie MacNicol.

All in all it was a most enjoyable and enlightening trip.

E. M. Dent
Bessie McNicol: A Girl of the Sixties
©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Angels Galore!

The Heavens were indeed kind to FoGM members for their recent full – day excursion, which started with the "Angels" exhibition at St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. Meeting on a crisp and clear morning , the organizer of "Angels", Learning & Access curator , Harry Dunlop , gave an entertaining introduction to the contents and context of this highly successful and popular exhibition. Free time was spent in enjoying the wide variety of artefacts on display, spanning the centuries and personal tastes, with "Angels" from the dawn of antiquity to the present day. Featuring audio/visual testimonies from a wide range of world religions and beliefs, accompanied by personal anecdotes and artwork from the visiting public, the exhibition has proved to have an appeal for a wide audience.
The afternoon visit was to Govan Old Parish Church. A guided tour had been arranged of the famous early Christian, highly - decorative, carved stones, 31 of which still survive and the remarkable group of five hogback monuments. Spanning the 9th to 11th centuries, they represent one of the largest collections of early medieval sculpture in Scotland. No less interesting and beautiful , was the vast array of luminous stained glass windows, installed in this late 19th century building, by its first minister, Dr. John MacLeod , who broke with tradition in his determination that the style and subject matter of the windows should be inter-related and not a random choice donated by members of the congregation.

Morna Mathers.
Examining the Stones
(Courtesy of Frances Dryburgh)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Arts and Crafts in Edinburgh

On 27th January, 36 friends journeyed to Edinburgh to see three significant Arts and Crafts buildings. First we went to the Robin Chapel of the Thistle Trust in Craigmillar. This was built by Sir Francis and Lady Tudbury in memory of their only son, Robin, who was killed in the last week of the Second World war. It is built in the finest of materials and the stained glass by Sadie Mclellan is is a non denominational chapel and evensong is sung every Sunday.

We then travelled to the Song School at St Mary’s Cathedral  to see murals by Phoebe Traquair. The exposition by a very knowledgeable local guide gave us much information about the artist and the murals-she worked alone for four years to complete them.

After a quick break for refreshment at the Ocean terminal, we proceeded to Mansfield Traquair Centre. This is in the former Catholic Apostolic Church and the interior was decorated by Phoebe Traquair. Here three guides explained the murals and decoration which cover every inch of the walls and ceiling.

We all agreed that this had been a fantastic day, very well organised by Marion Maudsley and Ann Robertson. Our thanks go to them and to our driver who had to contend with heavy rain and heavy traffic.
The three sites we visited have excellent websites.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


January 2016, Harry Dunlop: "A Sense of the Sacred."

© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

In August 2014 a stained glass window, The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, 1923 by Irish arts and crafts artist Harry Clarke (1889-1931) was unveiled at Kelvingrove to wide public acclaim. Harry Dunlop, Learning Curator talked about the history, religious and cultural significance of this stained glass masterpiece which is fast becoming a Kelvingrove highlight.