Available from 2018 through 2020
First venue: October 25, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Second venue: February 21 – May 19, 2019
Third venue: June 20 – September 15, 2019
Fourth venue: October 17, 2019 – January 12, 2020
Amassed over a lifetime by the Glaswegian shipping magnate Sir William Burrell (1861–1958), the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, Scotland is recognized as one of the world’s greatest personal collections of art and antiquities. With outstanding examples comparable in quality to those of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, it comprises around 9,000 objects from over fifty countries, covering thousands of years of history. The collection’s particular strengths lie in late medieval art, including tapestries, religious artifacts, and objects tied to British royalty; Chinese ceramics, bronzes, and jades; and renowned European paintings from the sixteenth through the late nineteenth century, by such important artists as Bellini, Cézanne, Courbet, Daumier, Degas, Millet, and Rembrandt.
Burrell donated the collection to the City of Glasgow in 1944. As one of the greatest single gifts by a citizen to his place of birth, the Burrell Collection has helped Glasgow define itself as a major European cultural center. The works were prohibited from traveling overseas by the Deed of Gift to the City of Glasgow until February 2014, when the Scottish Parliament lifted these restrictions. With a full refurbishment and redisplay planned for the Burrell Collection building, American museums have the opportunity to present the first broad international exhibition of this collection. Song Dynasty to Cézanne: Treasures from the Burrell Collection, Glasgow will reveal the breadth of Burrell’s acquisitions through eighty-five of the finest and most significant objects, ranging from ancient Chinese artifacts and medieval European masterpieces to groundbreaking works by leading modern masters.
Exploring Sir William Burrell’s collecting within the context of industrial nineteenth-century Glasgow, the exhibition will illuminate his appreciation of craftsmanship, his relationship with a network of dealers, the idiosyncrasies of his taste, and his role as an early collector of contemporary art. The Burrell Collection has recently been the focus of intense academic study, and the exhibition will incorporate new research on individual objects as well as on Burrell’s buying habits. It will position Burrell, a contemporary of the Americans William Randolph Hearst and Charles Lang Freer, as a collector of international significance and survey how his acquisitions evolved and matured. Through the exhibition, visitors will learn how this entrepreneurial Scotsman with a competitive streak and a discerning eye amassed a world-class collection that reflects his outward-looking, international vision.
For more information, contact Curator Richard Townsend at 212.988.7700 ext. 225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This exhibition is co-organized by the American Federation of Arts and Glasgow Museums.