After 5 years and an $89.2 million revamp, the Burrell Collection – home to the collection of Sir Willian Burrell – has opened to the public in Glasgow.
The Glasgow Collection houses more than 9000 artworks donated by Sir William Burrell in 1944. Both Burrell and his wife were avid art collectors, and he continued adding to the collection until his death in 1958. The collection houses some spectacular works from Renaissance, Chinese, Islamic and North European Medieval art. It also had works by prominent French artists like Manet and Degas. In 1983, a museum was opened to exhibit the vast collection. It was a landmark moment in the history of Glasgow – helping change the image of the city from a dwindling industrial hub to a rising art centre.
However, the museum long suffered from the issue of limited space. At any given point, only 20 per cent of the collection could be put on display due to space issues. Thus, in October 2016, the museum was closed for an exhaustive renovation. John McAslan and PArtners were hired for the renovation project to expand the museum space by up to 30 per cent. The renovation cost $89.2 million and five years but finally opened to the general public.
Bridget McConnell (Chief Executive, Glasgow Life Charitable Organization) released a statement regarding the re-opening, saying: “Visitors will again appreciate one of the world’s great museums and enjoy the quality and beauty of the works left to Glasgow by Sir William and Constance, Lady Burrell in its spectacular home in Pollok Country Park. It is a museum for all.”