Tell me a little about the famous Burrell Collection
This wide-ranging collection of some 8000 objects was amassed by Sir William Burrell, an astute businessman, who sold his shipping business assets during 1913-16 and spent the rest of his life building a disparate collection of objects and art from Ancient Civilizations, the late medieval and early Renaissance periods, China, the Islamic world and France. This collection was donated to the City of Glasgow and is now housed in a purpose designed building located in Pollock Country Park, about 5 miles (8 Km) South West of Glasgow City Centre. There is no entrance fee and at fixed times during the day free guided tours of the Collection are provided by experts.
Tell me more about the Burrell Collection
Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) joined his father’s Glasgow based shipping business at age 15 in 1876. He proved very adept at profiting from the economic cycles of the shipping industry; finally exiting the business during World War One and thereafter dedicating his life to amassing his famous collection. For most of his life, Sir William and Lady Burrell resided at Hutton Castle in the Scottish Borders. Some rooms from Hutton Castle have been re-created at the Burrell Collection.
The Burrell Collection display can be broadly categorised as follows:
The Hutton Castle Rooms: Comprises the Dining Room, Drawing Room and the Hall. Features include carved wooden panels (c.1500), stained glass, heraldic glass, 16th century oak furniture, fine needlework and tapestries, medieval sculpture and Persian and Caucasian rugs.
- Reliefs and carvings from Iraq and Iran.
- A wide range of carved heads, reliefs and statuettes from Egypt.
- Earthenware objects such as amphorae, cups and vases plus armour from Greece.
- Elaborate pottery, carved heads and mosaics from Italy.
- The famous Warwick Vase from the ruins of the Emperor Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli, dating from the 2nd century AD.
This material comprises about one quarter of the Collection and includes:
- Ceramic jars, urns, models, carvings, ewers, vases, bowls, dishes, elaborately carved figures and lanterns from China.
- A wide range of Chinese bronzes dating as far back as the Shang Dynasty (15th-13th century B.C.)
- Chinese furniture from the Ming period (16th-17th centuries A.D.).
- Chinese jade objects ranging in date from 13th century B.C. to 15th century A.D.
- Japanese prints from the 19th century.
- Embroideries from Central Asia.
- Bowls, jugs, bottles, dishes and other ceramics from the Near East (Turkey to Samarkland) covering the period 9th-17th centuries A.D.
- Carpets from the Near East: Persia, India and the Caucasus.
Special focus here is the art of Northern Europe between 1300 A.D. and 1500 A.D.
- Sculpture and Church Art which includes stone entrance portals, religious effigies in wood and alabaster, wooden carvings and busts.
- Tapestries from Germany, France and the Netherlands.
- Stained glass from France, Germany, Netherlands and England.
- Lace from Italy and France.
- Examples of domestic art ranging from an oak ceiling to a drinking horn.
Sir William had a predilection for examples of British work from the 16th and 17th centuries.
- Silverware: Includes cups, tankards, jugs and a salver.
- Arms and Armour: Includes field armour, swords and a spear.
- European Ceramics: Dishes from Spain, Italy and England.
- Treen: Standing cups made of wood.
- Glass: Elaborate 17th and 18th century glasswork from England, Germany and the Netherlands.
- Needlework: A collection of English embroidery from the 17th century.
- Furniture: Some 500 pieces of early furniture including the 16th century Kimberley Throne, fireplaces, tables and chairs.
- Paintings: Early paintings including Bellini; Dutch and British paintings including Rembrandt; The Hague School; and French paintings including work by Manet and Degas.
- Prints and Drawings: Includes work by Rembrandt.
- Sculpture: Includes the bronze work The Thinker by Auguste Rodin
Recommended ‘must see’ items at the Burrell Collection are:
- The Thinker, a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin.
- Granite head of Sekhmet from Egypt’s 18th Dynasty.
- Giovanni Bellini’s painting of the Madonna and Child (1488-90).
- Portrait of Edmond Duranty by Edgar Degas (1879).
- Polychrome figure of a Luohan (Buddhist disciple) (1484).
- Suzani embroidery from South Uzbekistan (19th c).
- The Warwick Vase, from Emperor Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli ( 2nd c)
How can Catswhiskerstours help with a tour of the Burrell Collection?
Visits to the Burrell Collection invariably form part of a customised tour of Glasgow. Other cultural and heritage sites in the vicinity include Pollok House and House for an Art Lover.
For more information and help contact Nigel-
T 44 (0) 141 638 5500
E firstname.lastname@example.org Or email@example.com
We look forward to hearing from you!
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