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Burrell Collection Receives Unprecedented Support from Scottish Businessman

12 June 2018 / by The Burrell Collection (author), Glasgow City Council (author) / Glasgow
Engineers working on the electrics study the plans. (photo: CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection)
Engineers working on the electrics study the plans. / (photo: CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection)

Plans to raise the profile of the Burrell Collection as a world-class display of Sir William Burrell’s magnificent and ambitious Collection continue to garner international recognition and very strong funding support. The Burrell Collection has announced that it will benefit from funding of £1 million from Chair of the Burrell Renaissance, Sir Angus Grossart, which will help the museum achieve an ambitious refurbishment and redisplay of some 9,000 objects in its Collection.


The gift, announced today, will help the museum enhance its already unparalleled Collection as, for the first time, the public will enjoy three floors dedicated to galleries, visible stores and special exhibitions.


More than 75 years of Sir William’s life were devoted to amassing one of the world’s greatest, single personal collections. The Burrell Collection is recognised as being of world-class quality, and reflects the outward looking, international confidence of the great collector. As part of the Burrell’s plans, a new 750m2 special exhibition gallery will accommodate exhibitions of varying sizes, from the display of individual masterpieces and small groups of objects, to larger, international touring exhibitions, connecting the Burrell Collection with peer institutions from across the world.


The refurbishment will also see the museum’s gallery space increase by 35% and public space increase by 83%, allowing important and unique objects from Burrell’s Collection which have not been seen for decades or have never been on permanent display to go on show for visitors to enjoy.


Families, adult groups, children and young people will also benefit from a new bespoke Learning and Community wing which will provide high-quality spaces for a rich programme of events and activities, set in the stunning surrounds of Pollok Country Park, Glasgow.


Support of the capital project has been overwhelming with over 125 companies, trusts and foundations, and individuals pledging support, including a £15million National Lottery grant to make the project a reality. The cost of the project is estimated at £66 million with Glasgow City Council agreeing to fund up to 50% of the overall project cost.


Chair of the Burrell Renaissance, Sir Angus Grossart, said: “Sir William’s gift is an international flagship for Glasgow. Much has moved on since the initial priority of creating a home for the Collection. The Burrell Collection now needs a real renaissance which will place the true significance of Sir William’s legacy and Collection within the international league where it should be set. The challenge is highly ambitious, but what a privilege it is for our generation to be asked to rise to that call and to take forward this great inheritance. Glasgow has been defined by international aspirations and cultural reach. Sir William entrusted his life’s work to the city he called home. Mindful always of his wishes, we are seeking to secure much wider recognition of his vision and achievements. We still have £3 million to raise and we hope more people will help us and support this great opportunity.”


Chair of Glasgow Life, and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor David McDonald, said: “Few collections command both the international respect and local affection that the Burrell enjoys – a remarkable legacy of Sir William and Lady Burrell’s gift to Glasgow that has enriched the city socially, culturally and economically.


“This very generous gift from Sir Angus, along with his valued ongoing support and advocacy, will ensure that legacy will be appreciated for generations to come.”


James Robinson, Director, Burrell Renaissance, commented: “Sir Angus’s commitment to the project as Chair of the Burrell Renaissance has shaped its ambition and strategy from the outset.  We are enormously grateful to him for this hugely generous gift as further evidence of his passion for the Burrell Collection and his belief in its ability to reach global audiences for generations to come.”


A key aspect of the Burrell Renaissance has been the introduction of a clear and ambitious international strategy to facilitate international research and curatorial exchange. Current exhibitions of works from the Burrell’s Collection include Courbet, Degas, Cézanne… Chefs-d'oeuvre réalistes et impressionistes de la collection Burrell, at the Musée Cantini, Marseilles, from 18 May to 23 September 2018, and a rotating series of exhibitions at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.


To support the renaissance of the Burrell Collection and make a difference, visit https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/support-us/campaigns/the-burrell-collection or email [email protected]




The Burrell Collection

  • The Burrell Collection is a major cultural asset for the City of Glasgow and the nation, and is of international significance. The museum and its Collection which numbers almost 9,000 items, is managed by Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council. It has a rich and varied scope, ranging from ancient prehistoric artefacts to ground-breaking works by Impressionists such as Manet and Degas. Its particular strengths lie in late medieval art, Chinese ceramics, bronzes and jades, Islamic pile carpets and French 19th century paintings.


  • The Collection, which reflects Sir William Burrell’s lifelong passion for art and history, was donated to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell. The decision to give the Collection to Sir William’s home city in 1944 has been described as one of the greatest gifts a city has ever received.


  • The Burrell Collection closed to the public in October 2016, allowing work to commence on an estimated £66 million refurbishment of the Grade A category building and redisplay of the collections, creating a new visitor experience. Before the museum’s temporary closure, only some 20 per cent of the exceptional Collection was on display.


  • Plans for the refurbishment and redisplay of the Burrell will see the museum’s public space increase by 83% and gallery space increase by 35% with store rooms on the lower ground floor open to the public for the first time. As well as improved facilities including café and retail opportunities, landscaped terraces will link the museum to its parkland setting, enhancing the visitor experience.


  • A re-interpretation of treasures of the Collection will also tell much more of a story about their importance and how they were collected, with an increase in artworks on display across the museum’s collections.


  • Refurbishment plans will also turn the building into an energy efficient, modern museum. In addition, a much greater proportion of the 9,000-strong Collection will be accessible with stores visible to the public for the first time. 


  • Throughout the Burrell’s refurbishment an exhibition of works from the Burrell will be on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow, allowing citizens and visitors alike to enjoy some of Burrell’s treasures. An international tour is also showcasing works from the Collection, raising the Burrell’s profile worldwide and promoting Glasgow as one of the world’s great cultural cities.


Heritage Lottery Fund

  • HLF’s award of £15 million includes a grant of £1 million awarded to the Burrell Collection for the development stage of the project in May 2015.


  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk  


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The Burrell Collection


The Burrell Collection

The Burrell Collection is housed in an award-winning building in the heart of Pollok Country Park. The collection is named after its donor, the shipping magnate Sir William Burrell. The Burrell Collection is closed for refurbishment until 2020. Learn more at www.visitscotland.com

Glasgow City Council


Glasgow City Council

Glasgow City Council is the largest local authority in Scotland, employing just under 19,000 people to help deliver essential services to the city and its 600,000 residents. The council manages a gross annual budget of over £2.4 billion, which provides for schools, roads, libraries, museums, parks, planning, cleansing, the full range of social care for young and old and many other responsibilities. Glasgow is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, award-winning city known throughout the world as a tourist destination and renowned location for international events. The council played a key role in the delivery of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, aiming to provide much needed regeneration and a legacy of social, sporting, economic and environmental benefits for the city. For more information, please visit www.glasgow.gov.uk

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