The Burrell Collection
is an art collection in the city of Glasgow
, in Scotland
. It is situated in Pollok Country Park
on the south side of the city.
The collection was put together over many years by Sir William Burrell
, a wealthy industrialist, ship owner and art collector who then gifted it to the city of Glasgow in 1944. The gift was made on the condition that the collection was to be housed in a building 16 miles (26 km) from the centre of Glasgow, to show the works to their greatest advantage, and to avoid the damaging effects of air pollution at the time. The trustees spent over 20 years trying to find a suitable 'home' for the collection, one which met all the criteria set out in the Trust Deed, without success. Eventually, when The Pollok Estate was gifted to the city in 1967, the Trustees had certain terms of the deed waived, which allowed the current site, 3 miles (5 km) from the city centre and within the city boundaries, to be chosen for the collection.
A competition for design of the museum building in 1971 was delayed by a postal strike, allowing time for the winning architect Barry Gasson
to complete his entry, designed in collaboration with Brit Andresen
. The building is L-shaped in plan and is designed to house and display the diverse collection, with elements of the collection such as Romanesque doorways built into the structure, at the same time giving views out into the park over formal grassed areas to the south, and into adjacent woodland to the north. The entrance through a 16th century stone archway built into a modern red sandstone gable leads by a shop and other facilities to a central courtyard under the glazed roof, adjacent to the reconstructions of three rooms from the Burrell's home from 1927, Hutton Castle
, showing the wood panelled drawing room, hall, and dining room with their furnishings. Galleries on two levels house the various artefacts, over a basement storage level, and at the lower level a restaurant gives views to the lawn to the south.
The museum was opened by the Queen in 1983, and was named as Scotland's second greatest post-war building (after Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's St. Peter's Seminary) in a poll of architects by Prospect magazine in 2005.
The Burrell contains an important collection of medieval art including stained glass and tapestries, oak furniture, medieval weapons and armour, Islamic art, artefacts from ancient Egypt and China, Impressionist
works by Degas
, modern sculpture and a whole host of other artefacts from around the world, all collected by one man.
The nearest railway station to the Burrell Collection is Pollokshaws West
(approximately 10 minutes walk), with trains to Glasgow Central
normally operating four times per hour (three times per hour on Sundays).
Pollok House, administered by the National Trust for Scotland, is also situated in Pollok Country Park.