Glasgow has one of the finest and largest civic collections of paintings and objects in Europe. Many works of art have been bequeathed or gifted to the city over the last 150 years and gaps in the collections are occasionally filled by purchases.
Glasgow Museums has established a group of volunteers to explore and record the lives of those people. The group has around ten members from a variety of backgrounds, each with an interest in family history, keen to be an amateur sleuth and with the patience of a saint!
Some donors are well known and well documented, William Burrell and Archibald McLellan being prominent examples, However, the majority of donors come from more modest stock; often they are merchants and industrialists who contributed to the success of the ‘second city of the British empire’, but also ordinary folk , men and women, old and young. It is the social history of the period which we are investigating, building a collection of people, usually with a connection to Glasgow, where they come from and why they left their painting or paintings to Glasgow.