The Collection

The collection at the Burrell

Over 9,000 objects and thousands of years of history in a beautiful woodland setting, the Burrell Collection is unlike any other collection in the world and is the creation of one man’s passion, Sir William Burrell. 

Numerically, the largest single collection area is Chinese art.  Although it has not been fully researched and published, this part of the collection is considered to be of outstanding significance.  The great glory of the collection lies in the Late Gothic and Early Renaissance works of art from Northern Europe, including tapestries, stained glass, sculpture, arms and armour, architecture and furniture. 

Sir William Burrell's interests

Sir William was interested in history as well as art, and there are many items with royal associations, including the stained glass portrait of the Plantagenet Princess Cecily, a hawking set belonging to James VI and 1 embroidered thickly with gold thread, the christening apron of Prince Charles Edward Stewart and the bedhead of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves.

Another area of strength is Sir William’s excellent collection of 19th and 20th century French art, including one of Europe’s finest collections of works by Edgar Degas, amassed with the help of the Glaswegian dealer Alexander Reid, friend of van Gogh and Whistler. Other areas of the collection include Dutch paintings, Islamic art, Persian, Caucasian and Indian rugs and carpets, later European decorative arts and antiquities from the Ancient Civilisations.

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