Sunday, June 14, 2015

Glasgow and Some Grand Art Collections

Off this morning right after a full and yummy English breakfast at The Arches to take a peek at the Robert Burns Museum and his thatched cottage in the village of Galloway, his birthplace. But since we were too early for opening times we only wandered into the village to see the cottage. 

From there we headed to Glasgow, a HUGE city, the second largest in Britain...and not an easy city to navigate or drive in. After lots of wrong turns we finally arrived at the museum that houses The Burrell Collection, a unique collection of some 8,000 objects was given to the city by Sir William Burrell in 1944. We enjoyed a good tour of his collection with objects from late medieval and early Renaissance Europe to important examples of Chinese and Islamic art, French paintings and Ancient civilizations.There are also works by major artists including Rodin, Degas and Cezanne. While in Glasgow we're planning to see as many Charles Rennie Mackintosh sites as it's possible to fit in. After lunch in the cafe we headed out in the direction of our first choice on the list, the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Art Gallery. It was a Sunday with some special fair going on with hundreds of people milling about and enjoying lots of special activities that were going on in the Kelvingrove Park area and in and around Glasgow University. Absolutely NO parking places were visible! Finally Bill and Malcolm dropped us off at the museum while they drove off to search for a parking spot. When we arrived at the main desk we were confronted with the frustrating news that the last Mackintosh tour had just left. 😢 Since the museum is closed on Mondays it was a great disappointment. However, once we begin our tour of the rest of the museum our disappointment quickly turned to contentment with an outstanding and comprehensive exhibit, The Whistler Collection, one of international importance plus a fine collection of paintings by the Colourists as well as the Glasgow Boys. As the character Lily in Kevin Hanke's stories about Lily often exclaims when she really likes something...WOW!! exclamation uttered by us over and over again. There were a number of the Colourists' paintings by Peploe and Cadell of places we had just visited on the Isles of Mull and Iona...and they plus a number of other paintings by these groups were added to my growing list of favorites. 

A pleasant walk back to the car for another trip back across the city in another direction hoping to catch Evensong at St. Mungo Cathedral. Alas, we walked in just when the organist was playing the postlude. We sat quietly and listened to it and then had about 30 minutes to explore the rest of the cathedral before closing time. 

When we exited the cathedral the sun was shining brilliantly and the sky was so blue with great puffy white clouds so we drove next to the city center to eat dinner at Drum and Monkey pub and explore that area after eating. The evening was so spectacular that after eating we walked down the hill to George's Sq. to admire the exterior of Glasgow's City Hall. Tomorrow we hope to tour its magnificent interior. It was absolutely aglow with the beautiful evening sun shining on it against a vivid blue sky. We're nearing the longest day of the year here in Scotland where the sun doesn't set until near midnight making the evenings bright and sunny.

The driver and navigator were worn out and no amount of coaxing to continue our wanderings on this beautiful evening down along the banks of the Clyde tempted them. Back to our hotel for planning how best to fit in our long list of mainly Rennie Mackintosh sites to see tomorrow, our final day not only in Glasgow, but also the last day of this year's touring our favorite isle with Malcolm and Dolly. In spite of some hits and misses, our first day in Glasgow was full and overflowing with good and beautiful things. 

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