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The main entrance of the museum.
The front elevation of the museum, looking westwards from Argyle Street.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery is a museum and art gallery in Glasgow, Scotland. The building houses one of Europe's great civic art collections. Since its refurbishment the museum is the most popular free to enter visitor attraction in Scotland,[1][2] and the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside London.[3] It is located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin (opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall, which was built in matching style some years later, after the previous hall had been destroyed by fire). It is adjacent to Kelvingrove Park and is situated immediately beneath the main campus of the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.

The construction of Kelvingrove was partly financed by the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition held in Kelvingrove Park. The gallery was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901.[4] It is built in a Spanish Baroque style, follows the Glaswegian tradition of using local red sandstone, and includes an entire program of architectural sculpture by George Frampton, Francis Derwent Wood and other sculptors.

Although intended as a permanent building, it was designed as a principal building of another International Exhibition in the Park in 1901. This explains why the building appears to be built 'back to front'. Nowadays most visitors enter from the main street, Argyle Street — the "back" of the building, rather than via the "front" entrance facing the Park (Kelvingrove has photographs and programmes from the original exhibition on display).

The museum's collections came mainly from the McLellan Galleries and from the old Kelvingrove House Museum in Kelvingrove Park. It has one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world and a vast natural history collection. The art collection includes many outstanding European artworks, including works by the Old Masters, French Impressionists, Dutch Renaissance, Scottish Colourists and proponents of the Glasgow School.

The museum houses Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí. The copyright of this painting was bought by the curator at the time after a meeting with Dalí himself. For a period between 2003 and 2006, the painting was moved to the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.

Kelvingrove was reopened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 11 July 2006 after a three-year closure for major refurbishment and restoration. The work cost over £28m and includes a new restaurant and a large basement extension to its display space to accommodate the 8000 exhibits now on display.Currently it is hosting the Doctor Who Exhibition.

Scenes of the 2008 adaptation of The Thirty Nine Steps were filmed at Kelvingrove.


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Coordinates: 55°52′6.892″N 4°17′25.816″W / 55.86858111°N 4.29050444°W / 55.86858111; -4.29050444



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