United Kingdom

Argyle Street
G3 8AG
Phone: 0044 141 276 9599
Fax: 0044 141 276 9540

Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum

The Kelvingrove building, which opened on 2 May 1901, is a splendid sandstone example of late Victorian architecture, housing a fantastic collection of art in the upstairs galleries - including pieces by Botticelli, Rembrandt, Whistler and ‘Glasgow Boys and Girls’ such as Melville and Margaret MacDonald - while downstairs there are fascinating displays of natural history and European arms and armour. Glasgow Museums holds one of the finest collections of arms and armour in Britain. Many of the pieces in the collection are unique treasures, while others can justifiably be called the best examples of their type.

 Permanent Collection Highlights (1)

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Permanent Collection

Highlights of the collection include the world-famous 'Avant' armour (the earliest near-complete armour in the world, c1440), the complete armour for man and horse made in the Greenwich Royal Workshops for William Herbert, first Earl of Pembroke (c1557), and a rare Scottish medieval sword. The collection is particularly strong in early firearms, medieval swords, Scottish arms and armour, crossbows, and duelling weapons and equipment. Kelvingrove has also hosted some of the finest exhibitions held in Britain in recent years, notably those on the Dead Sea Scrolls (1998) and Frank Lloyd Wright (1999). The museum has recently reopened after a three year refurbishment, and is now even more popular than ever.
Exhibitions information Current exhibition is Once, a collaboration between visual artists Dalziel + Scullion and composer Craig Armstrong. Once will run until 25 February 2007.
Forthcoming exhibitions information Kylie: The Exhibition will come to Kelvingrove in September 2007.
Previous Exhibitions Reopened in July 2006 after a three year, £35 million refurbishment.

Exhibitions (1)

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Opening hours

10am - 5pm Mon - Thu & Sat, 11am - 5pm Fri & Sun

Getting there

Multiple bus routes, plus local train and subway stations


All of the above

Museum internal and external photos (2)

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When was Kelvingrove first opened?
Kelvingrove first opened its doors to the public on 2 May 1901 when it formed a major part of the Glasgow International Exhibition. Its collections came mainly from the McLellan Galleries and from the City Industrial Museum, which had been opened in the former Kelvingrove Mansion in 1870. The initial money for the building came from the profits of the International Exhibition of 1888, which was held in Kelvingrove Park.

Did all the money to build Kelvingrove come from this exhibition?
No. There was a profit of over £40,000 from the International Exhibition. The Association for the Encouragement of Arts and Music in the City of Glasgow added to this by public subscription, increasing the total to over £120,000. The Town Council then took over the completion of the building when the Association ran out of funds. The total cost was over £250,000.

Who designed the building?
The architects were chosen after an open competition. John W Simpson and EJ Milner Allen, joint architects, of London, were declared the winners in 1892.

What style of architecture is the building based upon?
At the time, the architects described their design as ‘an astylar composition on severely Classic lines, but with free Renaissance treatment in detail’. Although it combines a variety of styles, the best description is Spanish Baroque; indeed, the two main towers are inspired by those of the great pilgrimage church of Santiago de Compostela, in Santiago, which is in Northeast Spain.

Is it true the building was built ‘the wrong way round’?
No. This is a popular myth, as is the story about the architect committing sui...+ [ Read all ]


Friends of Glasgow Museums 0141 276 9599


Alan Horn 0141 276 9599

Venue hire

0141 353 9108