Art masterpieces could be heading to Glasgow from Edinburgh under gallery plan


GREAT works of art that has been showcased in Edinburgh for decades are set to be moved to Glasgow.

The works currently belong to the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) and are displayed over two sites in the National Gallery of Modern Art in the capital.

The gallery is home to many significant works by the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Dali as well as masterpieces by award-winning Scottish artists which may be moved.

The new gallery space in Glasgow is part of a £70 million revamp of the Kelvin Hall, which was formerly a transport museum.

The relocation would mean that Glasgow was home to a NGS building for the first time and it’s hoped that the move will mean thousands more people will be able to enjoy the classic works each year.


Famous masterpieces could be making the journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow
Famous masterpieces could be making the journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow


Katrina Brown, director of leading contemporary art gallery, The Common Guild, said the move will create more space for artwork.

She said: “One of the things that Glasgow is lacking is a large scale exhibition space for contemporary work and it is fantastic to think there will be more space for that.

“The question will be how it is resourced in what is at the moment an under-resourced contemporary art sector.”

The display in Glasgow will acknowledge the city as the inspiration for several Turner Prize winners as well as the place where a host of acclaimed artists learnt their trade, at the Glasgow School of Art.

The National Galleries of Scotland is working with Glasgow Life, an organisation which oversees much of the city’s cultural activity, to transfer the collection across to Scotland’s largest city.

However, a spokeswoman for the NGS said there were no plans to close any galleries in Edinburgh.

She said: “NGS already has a wide-ranging and successful partnership with Glasgow Life which has resulted in sharing our collections, exhibitions and our first joint acquisition, a painting by James Guthrie, acquired in 2012.

“Building on the huge success of Generation, a nationwide celebration of Scottish contemporary art held in 2014, in which Glasgow Life was one of our principal partners, we have been looking at opportunities for future collaborations.

“The exciting developments at Kelvin Hall is part of the ongoing discussions we are having with Glasgow about showcasing contemporary art across Scotland and we are looking forward to announcing details in due course.”

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, currently attracts over 450,000 visitors to the see works by the likes of Dali and Picasso.

This week, Glasgow City Council will vote on an £8m plan for a new roof on the Kelvin Hall.

Upgrading the roof is a key stage in the multi-million pound revamp and will allow the entire structure to be opened up for various displays in future.