Refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery To Open In July 2006

By Richard Moss | 03 April 2006
a photograph of a large red stone building with several towers above an arched entranceway

The Kelvingrove New Century Project has been three years in the making and has cost £27.9m. © Glasgow City Council (Museums)

After a three-year, £27.9m refurbishment, Glasgow City Council has announced that Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will re-open to the public on July 11 2006.

The long-planned revamp, known as the Kelvingrove New Century Project, will create modern facilities, services and displays to provide a decidedly 21st Century view of the city’s great Victorian collection.

“Reflecting the ambition, global vision and resources of Victorian Glasgow, Kelvingrove is a combination of the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Royal Armouries and the Natural History Museum,” said Mark O'Neill, head of Museums and Arts at Glasgow City Council.

This famous and varied collection will now be showcased in newly refurbished and themed galleries exploring 22 subject areas that will include a History Discovery Centre; a section exploring Scottish Identity in Art; a Looking at Design section and an exhibition exploring Creatures of the Past.

a painting of christ on the cross viewed from above with a large drop towards a landscape below

Salvador Dali, Christ of St John of the Cross. © Glasgow City Council (Museums)

The building’s Victorian cellars have been transformed into a lower ground floor exhibition and cafe and a 50% increase in space has been achieved overall to display the museum’s 8,000 objects.

Curators are also promising better access to Kelvingrove’s Impressionist collection with visitors being able to study artist’s brush strokes and use of colour up close.

Some key displays are being shown for the first time, such as an immaculately restored Spitfire, which will be suspended from the roof of the West Court.

One of Glasgow’s favourite sons, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, gets a new gallery all to himself. ‘Mackinstosh and the Glasgow Style’ will showcase Mackintosh’s life and legacy through his art, design and architecture.

The re-opening will also see the return of some famous works of art including Salavdor Dali’s painting, Christ of St John on the Cross, which has been temporarily stationed at The St Mungo Museum of Religious Art and Life.

a photograph of a spitfire aeroplane suspended from the ceiling of a large and ornate Victorian hallway

Spitfire LA198, 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron. © Glasgow City Council (Museums)

Other prestigious exhibits back on display will be Rembrandt’s Man in Armour as well as masterpieces by Van Gogh, Whistler, Monet and Botticelli plus the arms and armour collection and Ancient Egyptian artefacts.

The refurbishment was funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, Historic Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage. Admission to the Museum will be free and more information is available at

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