Conservators prepare Dali's Christ of St John of the Cross for loan
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Conservators prepare Dali's Christ of St John of the Cross for loan

07/08/2017
One of Scotland’s favourite paintings, Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí, which usually hangs in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, has come off display and is now being prepared to go on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in London.  It will return to Kelvingrove Museum in the summer of 2018. The painting will be one of the star attractions of an exhibition titled Dalí/Duchamp, opening on 7 October 2017.

Sophie Kostin, Frames Conservator at Glasgow Museums, delicately unframed the iconic painting at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre before Suzanne Ross, Painting Conservator at Glasgow Museums, inspected the work in preparation for it being packed and transported to the Royal Academy. An image of Christ of St John of the Cross will remain in the space at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, alongside interpretation explaining why collections like Glasgow Museums lend objects  

One of the Royal Academy’s most intimate and endearing paintings, Henry Raeburn’s Boy and Rabbit, will go on show at Kelvingrove Museum as part of a reciprocal loan agreement. Boy and Rabbit will hang in the portrait section of the Looking at Art gallery in Kelvingrove Museum from September 2017 until May 2018, where it is expected to be a real highlight with museum visitors, particularly children and families.  

Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor David McDonald, said: “Glasgow is proud of its extensive art collection, considered by many to be amongst the finest in Europe. By working with respected institutions such as the Royal Academy of Arts we continue to strengthen our reputation and are able to bring outstanding works of art, such as Raeburn’s Boy and Rabbit, to Kelvingrove this autumn. 

“At the same time we hope that by loaning key pieces we will learn more about the artwork in our care. We are also excited to give many more people the opportunity to see Dalí’s masterpiece in person, Christ of St John of the Cross is sure to be one of the undoubted highlights of the Dali/Duchamp exhibition.” 

Dalí/Duchamp at the Royal Academy of Arts in London is the first exhibition to throw light on the surprising relationship between the two artistic giants, father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp and Surrealist Salvador Dalí.  It will bring together over 60 works, including some of Dalí’s most inspired and technically accomplished paintings and sculptures and Duchamp’s ground-breaking assemblages and readymades, together with less familiar work. The focused exploration will offer fresh ways of looking at both figures, radically revising their familiar places in art history. Christ of Saint John of the Cross will be at the heart of this exhibition, central to its key themes, particularly myth, the relationship between science and religion, and perspective. It will join monumental artworks loaned from across the globe, including Figueres Spain, New York, Paris and London. 
 
It is the first time Christ of St John of the Cross has been on loan since 2010. It featured in Salvador Dalí: The Late Work, an important exhibition focusing on Dalí’s later career at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, USA. The must-see painting, one of the best-loved in Glasgow Museums’ entire collection for both tourists and Glaswegians alike, will return to Kelvingrove Museum in summer 2018.

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