Origins of the Collection

Although the museum opened in 1901, the origins of the collection date back to 1854, the year one of the museum’s key benefactors, Archibald McLellan, died. Born in 1797, McLellan was a coachbuilder and prominent Glasgow citizen and art collector. He bequeathed his collection of over 400 paintings to the people of Glasgow, as well as the building in Sauchiehall Street that still bears his name, the McLellan Galleries. McLellan’s paintings still form the backbone of Glasgow’s Old Masters collection, which includes Rembrandt’s A Man in Armour and de Lairesse’s An Allegory of the Senses.
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