How Glasgow Flourished, 1714 – 1837

In the summer of 2014, when Glasgow played host to the Commonwealth Games, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum held a special exhibition called How Glasgow Flourished, 1714 – 1837. This endorsed Glasgow Museum’s commitment to displaying objects and stories about the city’s historic links with transatlantic chattel slavery in America and the West Indies. The central core of the exhibition was about the way Glasgow’s … Continue reading How Glasgow Flourished, 1714 – 1837

How Glasgow Flourished Symposium

Glasgow Museums has a commitment to displaying and discussing its collections’ links to slavery. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum hosted a symposium in 2014 on ‘How Glasgow Flourished, 1714  -1837’. This complemented the exhibition of the same name and brought together academics and curators to explore various themes relating to the growth of Glasgow in this period. The talks were all recorded with the aim … Continue reading How Glasgow Flourished Symposium

Jamie Montgomery, Runaway Slave

In 1750 a Scottish merchant in Virginia named Robert Shedden purchased an enslaved boy named Jamie for £56. Two years later Shedden sent the young boy back to Scotland where he would be apprenticed to Shedden’s brother-in-law, a carpenter named Robert Morrice who lived in Shedden’s home town of Beith, Ayrshire. Shedden intended to profit by this, for he would eventually have Jamie sent back … Continue reading Jamie Montgomery, Runaway Slave

The Luke of Claythorn family – silver, sugar and slavery

The Scottish Identity in Art gallery in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum contains many wonderful objects, including silverware made by the Luke of Claythorn family. Claythorn is in today’s Calton, near the People’s Palace. Recent research on portraits of them in the museum stores has revealed a complicated family history. There are six portraits: three of John Luke, one of James Luke and one for … Continue reading The Luke of Claythorn family – silver, sugar and slavery

Slave Cotton in Glasgow

When Glasgow Museums first acquired Robert Salmon’s painting of Glasgow Harbour in 1832 it was for the extraordinary representation of steamships. However research into the other ships has thrown up additional information that helps us to understand what is going on in the painting. The American ship on the left-hand side of the painting was originally thought to have been there simply to appeal to … Continue reading Slave Cotton in Glasgow

Stones Steeped in History

At the end of July 2017 the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow unveiled a permanent display on its two elliptical balcony spaces within the building. Stones Steeped in History tells the story of the building from before it was built in 1776 through its various uses and modifications up to its controversial opening as a gallery of contemporary and modern art in 1996. … Continue reading Stones Steeped in History

Enslaved Black Boys

The portrait of John Glassford and family in the People’s Palace Museum in Glasgow is the most famous portrait of one the city’s most successful tobacco merchants. It also attracts attention because of the rare image of the Glassford’s enslaved black boy. Glasgow Museums has never attempted to cover him up, but without knowing more about him what should he be called? What should similar … Continue reading Enslaved Black Boys