New York, NY (February 13, 2017)—The American Federation of Arts (AFA) is pleased to announce its collaboration with Glasgow Museums for the first comprehensive international exhibition of works from the extraordinary Burrell Collection.
Amassed by the Glaswegian shipping magnate Sir William Burrell (1861–1958), and recognized as one of the world’s greatest personal collections of art and antiquities, the Burrell Collection comprises around 9,000 objects, from over 50 countries, covering thousands of years of history.
Showcasing the most extensive presentation of works from the Collection to be seen outside the UK, the exhibition will feature 125 key pieces ranging from ancient Chinese artifacts and medieval European masterpieces to groundbreaking works by leading modern masters, including Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Paul Cézanne. This landmark exhibition, curated by James Robinson, Director of Burrell Renaissance, and a team of expert curators from Glasgow Museums, will tour up to five museums in North America beginning in 2018. This is the third collaboration between the AFA and Glasgow Museums and follows the highly successful exhibition Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums, which traveled to six venues in North America in 2013–2015 and showcased paintings by some of the greatest names in European art, including Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli, Domenichino, and Titian.
Highlights from the Burrell Collection include:
Burial urn, Neolithic period, ca. 3000–2000 BCE | Earthenware | 12 x 12 1/4 x 12 3/8 in. | © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection (38.12)
Neolithic burial urn (ca. 3000–2000 BC) One of the oldest works featured in the exhibition, this is one of many artifacts from the Neolithic period through the Qing dynasty that speak of Sir William Burrell’s respected status as a collector and connoisseur of Chinese art.
Meiping vase, Ming dynasty, Hongwu period, 1368–98 | Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration | 14 1/2 x 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. | © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection (38.433)
Ming dynasty meiping vase (1368–98) Made in Jingdezhen, China, which was the center for porcelain production during the Ming dynasty, this work is one of only four pieces of its kind known to have survived and is the only one held by a collection in the West.
Giovanni Bellini | Virgin and Child, ca. 1485–88 | Oil on panel | 44 1/16 x 35 3/8 x 6 7/8 in. (framed) | © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection (35.4)
Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1485–88) Prior to Burrell’s purchase of the work in 1936, it had hung in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome for over three hundred years.
Oak headboard of Henry VIII, 1539 | Oak, paint, gilding | 33 x 77 x 4 1/2 in. | © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection (14.236)
Headboard of King Henry VIII and Princess Anne of Cleves (1539) Carved in oak and decorated in black and gold, this extremely rare item of English royal furniture dates from the Tudor period. Its decorative scheme, which includes erotic images, vividly evokes the importance of hereditary dynastic succession through arranged marriage, which, controversially in this case, remained unconsummated and ended in divorce.
Rembrandt van Rijn | Self-Portrait, 1632 | Oil on panel | 36 x 29 1/2 x 2 1/2 in. (framed) | © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection (35.600)
Self-Portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn (1632) This painting once belonged to the French royal collection before it was sold by the infamous revolutionary Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, in London in 1792. It was acquired by Sir William Burrell from the Viscount Rothemere Collection in 1946.
Paul Cézanne | The Chateau of Medan, ca. 1879–80 | Oil on canvas | 32 15/16 x 37 15/16 x 5 1/8 in. | © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection (35.53)
Château of Médan by Paul Cézanne (ca. 1879–80) This painting records the artist’s visits to the writer Émile Zola’s house on the banks of the River Seine and was once owned by the post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin.
Auguste Rodin | The Thinker, 1880–81 | Bronze | 28 x 15 3/8 x 22 7/8 in. | © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection (7.8)
The Thinker by Auguste Rodin (1880) Originally the centerpiece of an elaborate doorway intended for the museum of decorative arts in Paris, The Thinker became one of Rodin’s bestloved sculptures. Sir William Burrell purchased this casting in 1922.
The exhibition will incorporate new research into Sir William Burrell’s collecting habits and examine how his acquisitions evolved and matured. Visitors will learn how this Scotsman, a contemporary of prominent American collectors, such as William Randolph Hearst and Charles Freer, cultivated one of the world’s finest personal collections.
Pauline Willis, Director of the American Federation of Arts, stated, “This is a unique opportunity to show the Burrell Collection in North America. We are very excited to once again collaborate with Glasgow Museums to bring this inspiring collection to American audiences.”
James Robinson, Director of Burrell Renaissance, said, “It is a wonderful privilege to be able to share Burrell’s incredible gift with peer institutions in North America. Audiences in the US will experience for the first time a unique array of jewel-like treasures whether they be highly prized panels of medieval stained glass, rare Chinese jades or startlingly modern compositions by artists such as Degas and Cézanne. The touring exhibition with AFA is an exciting platform for us that underlines a wider international strategy for the Burrell Collection to be evidenced in future exhibition and research partnerships.”
With outstanding examples comparable in quality to those housed at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Collection’s particular strengths lie in late medieval art; Chinese ceramics, bronzes, and jades; and Islamic piled carpets. Featured works reveal the breadth of Burrell’s acquisitions; the exhibition will also celebrate Burrell’s renowned collection of European paintings from the sixteenth through the late nineteenth century, including important works by Giovanni Bellini, Eugène Louis Boudin, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Frans Hals the Elder, Édouard Manet, Jacob and Matthijs Maris, Jean-François Millet, Rembrandt van Rijn, and sculptures by Auguste Rodin.
The touring masterpieces of the Burrell Collection will serve as a timely reminder of the scope and global significance of Sir William’s unique collection. After more than 70 years of expert collecting, Sir William gifted his life’s work to the city of Glasgow in 1944. A Private Bill to allow items from the Collection to tour overseas was approved by the Scottish Parliament in 2014. This exhibition is the first time the Burrell Collection will be presented abroad on such a large scale.
James Robinson, Director of Burrell Renaissance, Glasgow Museums
Vivien Hamilton, Research Manager for Art, Glasgow Museums Rebecca Quinton, Curator of European Costume and Textiles, Glasgow Museums
Dr. Noorah Al-Gailani, Curator of Islamic Civilizations, Glasgow Museums Dr. Yupin Chung, Curator of Chinese Art, Glasgow Museums
Dr. Jo Meacock, Curator of British Art, Glasgow Museums
Pippa Stephenson, Curator of European Art, Glasgow Museums
ABOUT THE BURRELL COLLECTION
The Burrell Collection is a leading cultural asset for the City of Glasgow and the nation and is of international significance. 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.
Works have commenced on the £66 million refurbishment of the Category A-listed building and redisplay of the Burrell Collection, creating a new visitor experience. Refurbishment plans will turn the building into an exemplar of sustainability, transforming it from a building with a large carbon footprint into an energy efficient, modern museum. In addition, a much greater proportion of the 9,000-strong Collection will be made accessible with store rooms opened to the public for the first time, and a new central core greatly increasing access to the many artworks. For more information about the Burrell Collection, visit www.burrellcollection.com.
ABOUT GLASGOW MUSEUMS
Glasgow Museums operates nine civic museums throughout Glasgow, which is a major cultural center in the United Kingdom. The museums attract almost four million visits a year through a combination of their permanent displays and world-class exhibitions. They are all free to visit. For further information, visit www.glasgowlife.org.uk.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF ARTS
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs. For more information about the AFA, visit www.amfedarts.org.
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