Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Visit to the Tenement House and the Mitchell Library


 
On 24th October, Margaret Anderson led a group of Friends to the Tenement House, to lunch at Renfield St Stephens and then to the Mitchell library. Guided tours were provided at both places and greatly added to the enjoyment and understanding of members. At both, sufficient time was provided to allow for browsing and reflection.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

“Beer, Wine and Spirits”

 On Thursday, 12 October, Friends gathered in Kelvingrove to hear the first in a series of free talks by Burrell Guides and were treated to an extremely amusing but very informative talk about alcohol by John Rattenbury.

We learned of the origins of beer making in Mesopotamia c 7000 BC and continued through the ages with the introduction of wine and finally spirits.

I learned a lot about items in the Burrell collection and facts like “tonnage” referring to a ship’s cargo comes from the word “tun”, meaning barrel, and the cargo was taxed according to how many “tuns” or barrels of wine it could hold.

The only thing which could have improved on the talk was if we had been able to sample some of the drinks being discussed!

The talks continue to be held on the second Thursday of the month at 2.00pm.


Liz Dent

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Tea with John Byrne

Friends were invited by the staff at the Glasgow Museums shop to Afternoon Tea at the St Enoch Centre on the 11th October. The room in which we met was comfortable and decorated with art work from schools. We had come for a conversation with John Byrne about his work as an artist and author and the questions covered a variety of topics and were answered with grace and humour.  Many of us left with signed postcards of his portrait of Billy Connolly and copies of his book. It was a pleasant afternoon and we thank Catherine McGurk for organising it and for chairing the meeting.

Courtesy of Frances Dryburgh

Monday, 2 October 2017

Launch of book “Deep in the Heart of Your Brain

On Monday 2 October, Friends, at the kind invitation Glasgow Life, attended the launch of the publication of the book “Deep in the Heart of Your Brain” in the splendid setting of the Gallery of Modern Art.

The book was the part of the recent exhibition of the same name by Jackie Donachie and recorded research and interviews with a group of women affected by myotonic dystrophy.

Both Duncan Dornan and Jackie Donachie expressed their thanks to FoGM for supporting the publication of this book and from what they said it was clear that artworks such as Jackie’s exhibition were a positive influence on research and care in the field of genetics.

We were able to view the video of “Hazel” a key work of the 2016 exhibition and, despite the sound quality in GOMA, we found it to be a moving and involving experience.

It was good to be able to hold the beautifully produced book ( available in the shop at GOMA) in our hands and feel that our grant had contributed something positive to both art and medical research.


Liz Dent

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Tapestries from the Burrell collection

 Rebecca Quinton talked to the Friends on 27 September about the tapestries and the book which has just been published by Glasgow museums. She entitled her talk A Hunt for Fidelity and ably led us from the 14th century to the 17th century with examples of tapestries in the collection. She not only gave us the date of the tapestry but also its origin. Many of these come from the northern countries, from the Southern Netherlands, from France and from Germany. The tapestries varied in size from a small tapestry, which could be hung in a normal room, to very large tapestries designed for hanging in churches and great halls. The book covers about 200 tapestries and Becky covered nearly 40 of them! We are grateful to her for a clear, beautifully illustrated and comprehensive lecture.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Art of Power

Masterpieces from the Bute Collection
A group of Friends visited the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University to see the exhibition of paintings from the collection of Lord Bute. We were introduced to this by Dr Peter Robinson, curator. Many of us had heard of Lord Bute as a Prime Minister in the reign of George III but we were interested to hear of his previous life as a tutor to the young George III and then of his subsequent career. His interests were Art and Botany and indeed he published a nine volume book on Flora. He was a friend of Linnaeus and knew Joseph Banks who was the botanist with Captain Cook on his voyage to Australia. Both these interests are covered in the exhibition.
The paintings on show at the Hunterian are mostly small paintings from Dutch and Flemish artists and they are hung as they would have been at Mount Stuart. This is a delightful exhibition and we are most grateful to Dr Robinson for giving his time to explain it. Many of us will visit again.






Thursday, 24 August 2017

Tapestries from the Burrell Collection

© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

On Thursday, 24th of August 2017, at a reception in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the eagerly awaited catalogue “Tapestries from the Burrell Collection” was launched. Addressing the company, the Lord Provost, Eva Bolander, acknowledged the international importance of the tapestry collection and the connoisseurship of Sir William Burrell. The catalogue is the fruit of many years of research undertaken by Glasgow Museums in collaboration with Dr Elizabeth Cleland, Associate Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Dr Lorraine Karafel, Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design, New York. The catalogue was made possible with the generous support of The Sir William Burrell Trust, Friends of Glasgow Museums, The Aurelius Charitable Trust, The Esmee Fairburn Trust and The Mercers’   Company.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Thomas Cairns Livingstone’s Diaries



Friends will remember that we helped to purchase the diaries of Thomas Cairns Livingstone. These can now be seen in a new display in the Mitchell library showcasing Glasgow during the period from 1913 to 1933. In the springtime, Barbara McLean, archivist, spoke to the Friends about these diaries. She is now giving free lectures about them. They will be on 24 August, 2017, at 6 pm in the library at Goma and on 31 August, 2017 at 6 pm in Langside library. The talks are all free and are drop in but people are asked to book their space at the Mitchell Library by telephoning the Grenville Street reception team on (0141) 287 2999.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Dali Painting on Loan



© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection


Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali has been taken down and is in conservation before going to London for the exhibition Dali /Duchamp at the Royal Academy. The exhibition will open on the 7 October 2017. The exhibition then travels to the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida, USA.
The painting will return in summer 2018 to Kelvingrove but will then proceed to Bishop Auckland to Auckland Castle in the Autumn.

The Royal Academy will loan a painting by Raeburn, Boy with a Rabbit ,for display in Kelvingrove while the Dali is away.

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

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The First Emperor of China: 25 April 2017


In a well-illustrated lecture, Morna Mathers introduced us to the man who put China, as we know it today, on the map. A visionary and administrative genius; a skilled and courageous warrior: cruel, vengeful and most likely more than a little insane, the First emperor was written out of history for two millennia. The story of his rehabilitation rests on the discovery of what is now described as the eighth wonder of the world, his Terracotta Army.



Friday, 31 March 2017

Charles Rennie Mackintosh



31st March saw 35 Friends enjoy a day out devoted to Charles Rennie Mackintosh which included visits to House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park and Scotland St School. We enjoyed a tour of the House, especially the splendid music room (pictured), though sadly the rain meant less time spent in the lovely garden and looking at the new sculptures.

Courtesy of Frances Dryburgh
Scotland St School brought back happy (?) memories of schooldays to some of our members when we visited the old classroom with its tiered rows of wooden desks with inkwells. On hand was the “Horrible Heidie” to keep us in check but he didn’t stop us appreciating the architecture and designs of Mackintosh’s remarkable building.  

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tommy’s War and Tommy’s Peace



The diaries of Thomas Cairns Livingstone are an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to know about Glasgow in the years between 1913 and 1933. When they were up for sale, the Friends Executive Committee were pleased to be able to contribute £1,000 pounds to their purchase. Their story was ably told in a lecture given by archivist Barbara McLean on 28th March. Topics covered included rent strikes and rent restrictions, shortages of everything from sugar to matches and the coming of Belgian refugees. The subject raised many questions and comments from the audience. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Anchor Line

Glasgow Museums has 61 colourful posters advertising the Anchor Line. On the last day of February, Emily Malcolm, Curator at Riverside Museum, used these to illustrate the story of the Anchor Line for over 100 years. Twelve of these posters will be on show in a new display at Riverside Museum which will open in the Spring time. This was a popular lecture which was followed by a lively discussion.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Honeyman Garden.


Friends will remember the successful appeal for funds for the Honeyman  Garden in Kelvingrove Park. Rosemary  Bremner has used money remaining after the initial refurbishment of the garden, which honours her grandparents, to buy extra plants, including anemones, grasses, ferns and hostas and some bulbs. With the help of her husband, John, and Wayne Travis from Land Services, she planted them out in November and it is hoped that in the Spring the garden will be more colourful. 


Garden before planting

Garden after planting
                              

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Glasgow Cathedral, 8th February 2017



On a cold February day, twenty two Friends were pleased to be in Glasgow Cathedral to find out about the church and the stained glass under the guidance of Marion Maudsley and Anne Robertson. Even on a dull day, the outstanding collection of 20th century stained glass illustrated many interesting stories. The tour was oversubscribed and has been so well received that there are plans to repeat it in the Autumn.
Courtesy of Anne Robertson

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Peter Breughel the Elder



Dr Colin Bailey spoke to the Friends on 30th January about Peter Breughel the Elder. In a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated lecture, he covered the artist’s life and work. We heard about the times in which he lived and the political influences on his work but, above all, we saw his magnificent pictures.