Exhibition of the Glasgow Boys' work going on show in Biggar

It has taken several years of planning and organising, but paintings by some of Scotland’s best-loved artists are finally to be showcased in Biggar.

The White Flower by E A Walton will be among the works on display
The White Flower by E A Walton will be among the works on display

A selection of works by the ‘Glasgow Boys’ will go on show at Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum.

Hosting work by the influential group of 19th century painters will help the museum continue to rebuild its popularity after the disruption caused by Covid.

Ten paintings by the collective who represent the beginnings of modernism in Scottish painting will feature in the show, which runs from July 8 to September 25.

All of the works are being loaned by OnFife, its wealth of paintings is partly thanks to the collection of Kirkcaldy linen manufacturer J W Blyth, grandfather of Michael Portillo.

The show features paintings by E A Hornel, George Henry, Edward Arthur Walton, Thomas Millie Dow, John Lavery, Joseph Crawhall and David Gauld.

Museum Trustees are delighted local residents can see work by important artists, and also hope the exhibition will attract visitors to Biggar and widen the museum’s appeal.

Also included in the exhibition will be paintings by E A Taylor, who was greatly influenced by the work of the Glasgow Boys, and was a close friend of many of them.

Taylor and his wife, the illustrator Jessie M King, were regular visitors to Biggar, where King painted friezes in the former primary school and decorated several of the town’s shops.

Sadly, the school was demolished before any of the work could be saved, but both Taylor and King were responsible for artwork and friezes in many Lanarkshire schools and some of this work still exists in Lanark, in what is now the science block of the Grammar school.

Biggar Museum opened in 2015 when artefacts housed in ageing, no longer fit for purpose, buildings scattered throughout the town, were brought under one roof on the High Street.

When the museum was built the exhibition space was constructed to National Gallery specifications, so that artwork such as this could be loaned from other museums.

Group visits can be organised by emailing [email protected] or calling 01899 221050.