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Home Museums The Burrell Collection

Burrell the man

Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) was a highly successful business man and international art collector. His love of art began at an early age when he bought his first painting aged 15 with a few shillings he’d been given for a cricket bat. This was the catalyst for a great love and appreciation of art which saw him become an active collector for over 75 years.

He was one of the largest donors of artworks to the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition, which left a cherished mark on the city with the legacy of the much-loved Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

In 1944, William Burrell, together with his wife Constance, generously gifted their Collection to the City with specific wishes for it to be housed where people could appreciate the art in a countryside setting. The specially built Burrell Collection museum in Pollok Country Park opened in 1983 which inspired the rejuvenation of Glasgow as a major cultural city.