Discover more about your favourite Kelvingrove objects at one of the regular 'Object in Focus' 10 minute talks!
The Object in Focus events are free, meet at the Enquiries Desk.
Tuesday 20th March: Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Ladies Luncheon Room
What is a 'Gesamtkunstwerk' (a total work of art)? Alison Brown, Curator for European Decorative Art from 1800 will explore its immersive meaning through this tearoom interior designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1900. Happy 150th birthday Mr Mackintosh!
Tuesday 27th March: J D Fergusson's Painting 'The Pink Parasol: Bertha Case'
'The Pink Parasol' is a portrait that is not really a portrait. Join Assistant Curator of Art, Peter Tuka, to discover Fergusson's inspiring combitation of influences by French Fauvists and Anglo-American artist James McNeill Whistler. How does the treatment of portrait as a genre change in early modern art?
Tuesday 3rd April: The New Black: A Black Armour of the 1500s
Why would an armour be black? Who would have owned it? Find out more with Ralph Moffat, Curator of Arms & Armour, about this fascinating harness and the dangerous world of the fighting men to bore it. Usually people think of the knight in shining armour. However, not all armour was like this. There are many reasons why an armour might be black. By taking a closer look we can gain an insight into the world of the warrior and his purpose-designed equipment.
Tuesday 10th April: Samuel John Peploe's painting 'Still Life: Paint Tubes'
The Colourist Peploe is one of the best known modernist painters in Scotland. In 'Still Life: Paint Tubes' he gives us a glimpse of his studio and the materials he uses to paint. What can we learn about the artist's painting technique from a picture like this?
Tuesday 17th April: The Fragrance of Life: Japanese Designs
Dr Yupin Chung, Curator of East Asian Art, talks about the significance of Glasgow's Japanese ceramic collection – how the wares were designed, and their importance to those who used them. The concept of aesthetics in Japan was seen as an integral part of daily life.
Tuesday 24th April: Bessie MacNicol's painting 'Under the Apple Tree'
Join Curator of British Art Jo Meacock as she discusses this decorative Spring painting by Glasgow Girl painter Bessie MacNicol. MacNicol, who studied at Glasgow School of Art and in Paris, was considered the most important woman painter in Glasgow at the turn of the 20th century. Tragically she died at the age of 34 as a result of complications in the late stages of pregnancy. This painting explores ideas of youth, femininity and the seasons.
Tuesday 1st May: Henri Matisse’s painting ‘The Pink Tablecloth’
For Henri Matisse (1869-1954), it was important that people were able to enjoy his art, rather than feel challenged by it. As a result, many of his paintings appear simple, involving nothing more than beautiful colours and shapes. However, they are carefully constructed compositions of skilfully juxtaposed objects involving pattern, colour and design. ‘The Pink Tablecloth’ sings out with bright shades and glorious forms, inviting viewers to enjoy looking at what is on the table as much as Matisse clearly enjoyed painting it.
Tuesday 8th May: Liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945 as depicted by Marianne Grant
8th May is internationally celebrated as the 'Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War'. As 'Victory in Europe Day', this day also marks acceptance by the Allies in World War II of Nazi Germany's surrender. Marianne Grant’s drawings from concentration camps are powerful testimonies of the horrors of the Holocaust and its countless victims. Join Assistant Curator of Art, Peter Tuka, in discussion about the liberation of Bergen-Belsen as captured in Marianne’s drawing ‘British Army Arriving’ (1945).
Tuesday 15th May: The Aliens have landed!
Many plants and animals that are now a common sight in Scotland, such as rabbits, grey squirrels and beech trees are not native to Scotland but have arrived following the actions of us humans. Some are welcomed as adding new biodiversity, or provide economic or recreational value, but others are viewed as problematical, like the notorious Japanese knotweed and Giant Hogweed, both familiar sights along the River Kelvin in Glasgow. Botany Curator Keith Watson will explore the range of species now found, and tell the story of their varied arrivals, and discuss how we view these new arrivals - from welcomed guests to problem pests.
Tuesday 22nd May: William Kennedy's painting 'Stirling Station'
Curator of Transport and Technology John Messner takes you on an evocative trip on the steam railway, visiting Stirling Station in the late 1880s. Glasgow Boy William Kennedy's painting ‘Stirling Station’ shows the hustle and bustle of Victorian travel - passengers arriving, trains departing and all the activity of a busy city station.
Tuesday 29th May: Wings for Victory plaque
75 years after the Wings for Victory campaign, Social History Curator Isobel McDonald will discuss the Wings for Victory plaque on display, and look at how schools supported the war effort.
Tuesday 5th June: The Hill House writing desk designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Tuesday 12th June: Albert Moore's painting 'Reading Aloud'
Albert Moore’s paintings often included anachronistic details, like the book the women read in this ‘classical’ scene. One of the key figures in British Aestheticism, historical accuracy was not as important to Moore as the beauty of colour, line and form. Curator of British Art Jo Meacock reveals what it is that is so radical and ahead of its time about this enigmatic, decorative painting.
Tuesday 19th June: Frances Macdonald’s Honesty mirror
The ‘Honesty’ mirror, made in 1896 by Frances Macdonald, marks a creative and innovative time for the development of The Glasgow Style. Frances, her older sister Margaret and their future husbands James Herbert McNair and Charles Rennie Mackintosh became known as ‘The Four,’ gaining a reputation for their distinctive style and highly symbolic work. Join Assistant Curator Hannah Willetts to learn more about the Honesty mirror, the craft involved in its making, and the eerie figures and symbolism that earned ‘The Four’ the nickname of the ‘Spook School’.
Tuesday 26th June: Jessie M King’s Toilet Set for Liberty
Jessie Marion King was a prolific artist and designer working in the Glasgow Style and the most commercially successful to emerge from Glasgow School of Art at the time. She skilfully applied her unique eye for design to a variety of media including book design and illustration, ceramics, jewellery and textiles. Join Assistant Curator, Hannah Willetts to find out more about the festoon-decorated silver and enamel toilet set Jessie M. King designed for Liberty’s of London in 1905, and learn more about the artist who would only draw from her imagination.
Tuesday 3rd July: ‘Portrait of a Man with a Lute’, attributed to Jacob van Reesbroeck
The 17th century was a time of unrivalled prosperity for Holland, and became known as its ‘Golden Age’. Merchants and the middling classes in particular enjoyed a high standard of living, consuming luxurious food wearing and rich clothes. Music was also an important aspect for this society, displaying an individual’s accomplishments and refinement. It also often provided the soundtrack for romance, featuring in scenes of love and courtship. Hear more about this splendid, large portrait of a man with a lute, attributed to a little-known, Antwerp-based artist.
Tuesday 10th July: ‘Extrodinar Good!’ Early Scottish Pistols
Why did Scotland become so renowned for its finely-made pistols? How did they work and how were they made. Ralph Moffat, Curator of Arms and armour will give an insight into the world of the Scottish gunmaker and his very particular clients. Scottish pistols have a unique construction and distinctive style of decoration. They are status symbols as well as lethal weapons. A closer inspection reveals the beautiful details of weapons made by Scotland’s best craftsmen.
Tuesday 17th July: Frank Brangwyn's World War I lithographs
In January 1915 artist Frank Brangwyn produced a set of lithographs to raise money for the newly established St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers and Sailors in London. The prints tell the story of a young soldier going to war, being blinded and hospitalised, and then recuperating and learning a new trade. As an artist Brangwyn purposefully chose emotive subjects that would stir people into action to support the war effort. Join Curator of British Art Dr Jo Meacock as she sets this group of prints in the context of World War I and of the artist’s work.
Tuesday 24th July: Hidden Histories of Glasgow's Ancient Egyptian Collection
Several individuals in the 19th and early 20th centuries were instrumental in the growth of Glasgow's Ancient Egyptian collection. However, their contributions are not always well known. This talk will explore some lesser-known aspects of the history of Egyptology in Glasgow Museums.
Tuesday 31st July: An eighteenth-century quilted jacket
This delightful jacket would have been the perfect choice for Mary Macdowell, the first wife of George Houston of Johnstone Castle, to wear on a hot summer's day. Join Research Manager (Art) Rebecca Quinton to discover how the cut of the jacket was inspired by the sack-back gowns of the mid-1700s, what cord-quilting is and who Mary was.
Tuesday 7th August: Louis Marcoussis' painting 'Still Life in front of a Balcony'
French artist of Polish origin, Marcoussis had adopted a simplified form of analytical Cubism after meeting Braque and Picasso in 1910. He painted only some 270 oils. More than a half of these originate from his most prolific period between the years 1927 and 1930. Join Assistant Curator (Art) Peter Tuka in discussion of Marcoussis’ painting ‘Still Life in front of a Balcony’ 1928 and learn more about Cubism and its key influences on this artist.
Tuesday 14th August: ‘Never have I seen one so good!’: A Crossbow of the 1480s
Very accurate and always controversial – the crossbow is an iconic weapon. How was it made and how did it work? Was it used in battle or just for hunting? Join Curator of Arms and Armour Ralph Moffat to find out more. Unusual materials were used in the weapon’s construction. Technology and artistry combine to produce an object of beauty and deadliness. Animals and humans were on the receiving end. By delving more deeply it is possible to better understand this much-maligned device.
Tuesday 21st August: Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Chinese Room from Miss Cranston's Ingram Street Tearooms
How do you fit an interior of squares and grids into an irregular shaped room? Alison Brown, Curator for European Decorative Art explains the secrets of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Chinese Tearoom design of 1911. Happy 150th birthday Mr Mackintosh!
Tuesday 28th August: Banner of the United Society of Boilermakers, Shipbuilders and Structural Workers
Big and colourful with powerful imagery, trade union banners are potent symbols of the trade unions and the workers they represent. Join Social History Curator Fiona Hayes to discuss the story of this painted banner from its creation through to its acquisition by Glasgow Museums. How and why the banner was made? How was it used? What’s on the other side of the banner? How does it reflect Glasgow’s recent social and industrial history?
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