Gallery of Modern Art

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Opened in 1996, the Gallery of Modern Art is housed in a neoclassical building in Royal Exchange Square in the heart of Glasgow city centre. Built in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy Glasgow Tobacco Lord who made his fortune through the triangular slave trade, the building has undergone a series of different uses. It was bought in 1817 by the Royal Bank of Scotland who later moved onto Buchanan Street; it then became the Royal Exchange. Reconstruction for this use was undertaken by David Hamilton between 1827 and 1832 and resulted in many additions to the building, namely the Corinthian pillars to the Queen Street facade, the cupola above and the large hall to the rear of the old house.

Since its opening in 1996, the gallery has hosted several million visitors. It has a dedicated Education and Access studio, facilitating workshops and artists talks and in the basement a Learning Library. The building also contains a café, free Internet access terminals, multimedia, art, and general book-lending facilities. Exhibits include works by David Hockney, Sebastião Salgado, and Andy Warhol as well as Scottish artists such as John Bellany and Ken Currie.

The mirrored pediment on the exterior of the building is by artist Niki de Saint Phalle, entitled Tympanum (1996). Saint Phalle also installed the mirrored vestibule to the gallery.

In front of the gallery, on the Queen Street pavement, stands an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington sculpted by Carlo Marochetti in 1844. The statue usually has a traffic cone on its head; for many years the authorities regularly removed cones, only for them to be replaced. The jauntily placed cone has come to represent, particularly in tourist guidebooks, the city's light-hearted attitude to authority.

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Founded: 1778
Category: Museums in United Kingdom

Rating

3.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Blain Murphy (12 months ago)
Lovely building. Terrible uninteresting art.
Wesley Free (14 months ago)
Lovely place to visit, There's a good library downstairs to have a sit and read on a rainy day. I spent a very relaxing evening here with my family.
Barry McD (15 months ago)
One of Glasgows finest museums, if you're in to something a bit different.
Tahmina Mili (19 months ago)
This is a place where I can stay all day long and won't be bored. It gives me such sense of being. Very artful and encouraging! Whenever I become a little sad or nervous, I visit here. It is very important place for me.
Donald Browning (20 months ago)
Great place to visit. A shining example of how something with a dark history can be used to improve the future even though it looks nothing like what it did.
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