Redevelopment allows Burrell Collection to display more treasures

Visitors will be able to see treasures that haven’t been on display for decades as a museum reopens next month with more than a third more gallery space.

Around 2,000 of the 9,000 objects in the Burrell collection are now on display at the museum, which has undergone a £68.25million redevelopment since it closed to the public in October 2016.

Curators have created “cross-cultural collection exhibits,” meaning objects such as an Islamic rug could be found next to a medieval tapestry, as they both feature similar scenes.

The museum’s gallery space has increased by 35% and a total of 225 exhibitions will be spread across 24 galleries in the Pollok Park building, south of Glasgow.


The gallery space has been expanded (Jane Barlow/PA)

The gallery space has been expanded (Jane Barlow/PA)

Laura Bauld, curator of the project, told the PA news agency: “The redisplay has allowed us to bring out objects that have not been on display for a very long time and also allowed us to display objects from a way they have never been seen before in the gallery.

“For example, our Wagner garden rug, which is a Persian rug from the 17th century, it is displayed flat in a gallery, it allows visitors to walk around it completely.

“It’s one of our iconic highlight objects in the collection and it shows an earthly paradise garden, lots of animals, lots of foliage, river scenes, it’s absolutely stunning.

“So the recent development of these galleries, some of which have been expanded into larger spaces, has allowed us to bring out some of these larger objects that we haven’t seen in a very long time.”

She added: ‘We have a lot of different displays, over 2000 items on display here at the museum, this includes items from all areas of the collection and what we have done is rather than display the collection areas. by type so all chinese ceramics in one place all arms and armor in another we did cross cultural collection exhibits so you can have an islamic carpet next to a medieval tapestry because they both represent hunting scenes or countryside scenes or scenes of rural life.

“We try to bring out those themes for our visitors, themes that they will engage with, that they can relate to and then hopefully connect with the exhibits.”

The collection, which reopens on March 29, features items such as Chinese pottery and porcelain produced over a 5,000-year period, objects from the medieval world, armour, tapestries and paintings, including works by Manet, Cezanne and Degas.

The expansion allowed for exhibits that had not been seen in decades or had never been on permanent display.

It is hoped that in the future it will be possible to rotate objects, so that other items in the collection that are “waiting in the wings” have a chance to be seen.

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