In 1876, the museum's annual report observed that Glaswegians 'possess an Art Gallery, which, in several respects, is entitled to rank with famous galleries, and an institution which they may not only enjoy themselves, but point out with pride to strangers as one of the sights of the city'. Although this referred to the predecessor of the current art gallery and museum, this feeling of pride is as strong as ever, with Kelvingrove having been voted Glasgow's favourite building. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum first opened its doors to the public in May 1901 as part of the Glasgow International Exhibition. The largest civic museum and art gallery in the UK, it has since welcomed millions of visitors from around the world. In 2003, it closed its doors for three years to undergo a GBP 35 million restoration programme, reopening them in 2006 to reveal a new and improved museum that now houses over 8,000 objects. Kelvingrove's internationally important collections are now displayed in twenty-two themed, state-of-the-art galleries.
Just some of the things on view are Old Master and Impressionist paintings, including works by Rembrandt and Degas, prehistoric fossils, and various exhibits about art and life in Glasgow and Scotland throughout the ages, including the world's largest display of Charles Rennie Macintosh and the Glasgow Style. Written by the people who look after the collections, this beautifully illustrated book provides both the visitor and the general enthusiast with detailed information about the objects on display, their provenance, why they are displayed as they are, and the history of Kelvingrove itself.