Available from 2018 through 2020
First venue: June 28 – September 23, 2018
Second venue: October 25, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Third venue: February 21 – May 19, 2019
Fourth venue: June 20 – September 15, 2019
Fifth venue: October 17, 2019 – January 12, 2020
Amassed over a seventy-year period 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 assemblages 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; Chinese ceramics, bronzes, and jades; renowned 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.
Burrell donated the collection to the City of Glasgow in 1944 and, as one of the greatest single gifts by a citizen to his place of birth, it has helped Glasgow to define itself as a major European cultural center. Its 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’s building, American museums will now have the opportunity to present the first and only comprehensive international exhibition of this extraordinary collection. Sir William Burrell: A Lifetime of Collecting will reveal the breadth of Burrell’s acquisitions through 125 of the its finest and most significant objects, ranging from ancient Chinese artifacts and medieval European masterpieces to groundbreaking works by leading modern masters, including Manet, Degas, and Cézanne.
Tracing Sir William Burrell’s collecting context in industrial nineteenth-century Glasgow, the exhibition will explore 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 so the exhibition will incorporate new research on individual objects as well as Burrell’s collecting habits. It will position Burrell, a contemporary of William Randolph Hearst and Charles Freer, as a collector of international significance and survey how his acquisitions evolved and matured. Through the exhibition, visitors will learn how this Scotsman of relatively modest means with a competitive streak and a discerning eye, amassed a collection of world-class quality that reflects the outward-looking, international confidence of a truly great collector.
For more information, contact Curator Michelle Hargrave 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.