Glasgow makes an excellent destination for anybody interested in the visual arts - and architecture in particular. So it is always a great pleasure to take budding Art Historians or any boy/girl thinking of architecture as a possible career. We spent Monday and Tuesday there at the beginning of October.
The exciting new building on the Clydeside, is Zaha Hadid’s ‘Riverside Museum’ which opened in June. It houses the Glasgow collection of transport history. The building – all fast flowing curves and whiplash lines is defiantly post-modernist – a gigantic shed with high level walks and vistas through the building. From up above, all the old trams, steam engines and cars looked like dinky toys and the avocado green interior reinforced the notion of ‘cultural playpen’!
The evening walk around the city was to look at the key nineteenth century architectural gems – a city that in the 1890s was so rich – that money could be lavished on its great mercantile buildings. Glasgow also has some of the first steel buildings – made in the 1850’s – but without the architectural language of the twentieth century.
Tuesday was our big ‘Charles Rennie Mackintosh’ day – one of the seminal architects of modernism. We started with a tour around the Glasgow School of Art, and then went to a reconstruction of Mackintosh’s private house at the Hunterian Museum – part of Glasgow University, followed by a stop in Bellahouston Park to see the brilliant art nouveau ‘House of an Art Lover’ – designed in 1902 but not built until 1996.
Our final port of call was the Burrell Collection in Pollock Park on the outskirts of the city. This museum built by Barry Gasson in 1978 houses an outstanding collection of world art.