The Burrell Collection reveals inaugural exhibition after major refurb

A new gallery space at the Burrell Collection

The Burrells’ Legacy: A Great Gift to Glasgow will explore the collection’s history, and the couple behind its creation.

The Burrell Collection has announced its inaugural exhibition since a major refurbishment and redesign earlier this year.

The Burrells’ Legacy: A Great Gift to Glasgow will chart the collecting and legacy of Sir William Burrell and his wife Constance, Lady Burrell and the collection, which is managed by Glasgow Life, the charity responsible for culture and sport in the city.

Over 100 objects have been selected to tell the story of the collections’ formation, from a couple’s private art collection to a civic museum.

Among the objects are two recent purchases by the Trustees, which visitors can view for the first time. In 2021, The Burrell Collection became the first public UK collection to acquire a work by French sculptor Camille Claudel. L’Implorante is the first sculpture by a woman to enter the Collection.

The exhibition will also feature artwork acquired by Burrell, on loan from Northumberland Museum. In its final sections, it will consider the ongoing important role of the Sir William Burrell Trust, which was established after his death to allow the Collection to continue to grow.

Duncan Dornan, Head of Glasgow Life Museums and Collections said: “It seems appropriate that the first exhibition in the new Burrell reveals more about the couple themselves and the story behind the creation of the wonderful museum in which their Collection is housed.”

Burrell Collection Trustees are to sponsor the inaugural exhibition.

Professor Frances Fowle, Senior Trustee, Sir William Burrell Trust, said: “It is a testament to
Sir William and Constance, Lady Burrell’s love of beautiful objects and to the quality and international scope of the Collection. It is also a tribute to their generosity as donors, not only to the city of Glasgow but to their local town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.”

Laura Bauld, Burrell Project Curator at Glasgow Life Museums, who put the exhibition together, said: “By selecting over 100 objects for display, many to be seen for the first time in a generation, I’ve learned more about their work and got to know the different people who were involved in creating The Burrell Collection.

“This first exhibition is full of wonderful objects and the stories behind them. I hope people enjoy discovering more about the Burrells and how the world-class museum came to be located in Glasgow.”

The Burrells’ Legacy: A Great Gift to Glasgow opens on Saturday 27 August.