The Bequest

In 1944, Sir William and Lady Burrell signed the Deed of Gift of their collection to the City of Glasgow - the place of their birth and the centre of their families' business activities.

Sir William specified that the Collection be housed in a building 16 miles from the centre of Glasgow.  He believed that a rural setting would show the works of art to their greatest advantage, and he was fearful of the damaging effects of high levels of air pollution, particularly on the tapestries.  Sadly, no suitable site had been identified by the time of Sir William Burrell's death in 1958.

In 1967, in another wonderful act of generosity, Mrs Anne Maxwell Macdonald and her family gifted Pollok House with its fine collection of Spanish paintings - and 360 acres of Pollok Estate - to the City of Glasgow.  It was generally agreed that Pollok Estate offered an opportunity for the finest of rural setting.

The Burrell Collection opened its doors to the public in October 1983.

William Burrell
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