Get cultured at Kelvingrove Museum & Gallery

There’s no shortage of culture in Glasgow, but Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum have made it into my list of favourites.

Think grand 1920s architecture, tiled floors, a glorious main hall with an eclectic collection of art and history. Despite being Scotland’s most popular free to enter attraction, unlike London, the crowds here are small and the atmosphere more peaceful. Parts of my two hour stroll through the rooms felt like I was in a private showing, including the 5 minutes I spent with Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross (1951), an apparently controversial painting of Jesus on the cross which the gallery famously houses.

For those typically bored by long afternoons in museums and galleries, I particularly recommend Kelvingrove for its more plain-spoken, light hearted commentary and easily digestible overview of art movements and history. There’s typically just one room for each topic (Dutch Art, Scottish Vikings, Zoology, McKintosh Design…) so only the most interesting pieces from their 9000-piece collection are showcased.

Kelvingrove Photo Set

L-R: Christ of Saint John of the Cross (1951) by Salvador Dali, Kelvingrove Centre Hall with the grand organ at its heart, the hanging installation in the Expressions Room, empty walkway on the 1st floor

Recommended highlights include the Expressions room, which quite literally exemplifies every possible definition of the word; masks from around the world, sculptures demonstrating various definitions of beauty, animal body language, particularly expressive busts and a hanging installation of some impressively expressive heads. See if you can also find The Scotsman (1987) by Ron O’Donnell, my favourite photo print piece hiding in one of the art rooms on the first floor.

If you’ve got extra time on your hands after, breathe some bracing Scottish air in Kelvingrove Park where the museum is based or walk 10 minutes towards Harry Potter-esque University of Glasgow which runs free tours of the grounds and houses the Hunterian Museum and Gallery.

Address Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG Scotland
Hours 1000 – 1700 (From 1100 on Fridays and Sundays)
Admission Free
Time Spent 1.5 – 2 Hours

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