Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Time to plan that pre-tour viewing of Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross

Although the tour is yet to be approved, now may be the time to plan that trip to have look at Dali’s iconic Christ of St John of the Cross in Kelvingrove.

It seems another tour has been submitted for approval, and set before Glasgow City Council for approval.

Salvador Dali’s famous painting – Christ of Saint John of the Cross – could be leaving Kelvingrove Art Gallery to go on show at exhibitions in England and Spain.

Glasgow councillors will decide whether to approve two short-term loans when they meet on Thursday.

The iconic work would play a key role in the opening of a Spanish gallery in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, before going on display in Dali’s birthplace, Figueres, Spain.

A report to councillors values the shipment at £30 million.

The Auckland Project, ran by Auckland Castle Trust, will see a Spanish gallery open in Market Place, Bishop Auckland, in summer next year.

Dali’s painting would be available to view from July 1 to October 2, 2020.

Auckland Partnership Trust is collaborating with organisations in the UK, such as the National Gallery, as well as in Spain and America. Glasgow City Council is currently seeking verification of the Trust’s Accredited status, as “it does not currently appear on the Art Council England’s online Accredited Museums List”.

The second loan would see the painting visit the Dali Theatre Museum in Spain between November 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.

It could lead to partner opportunities which would support Glasgow Museums’ preliminary exploration of a possible Dali exhibition in Glasgow, the report reveals. In most scenarios, Glasgow Life’s head of museums and collections has delegated authority to agree loans.

However, permission must be granted by Glasgow City Council to lend Christ of St John of the Cross.

Dali’s famous painting could be leaving Kelvingrove Gallery for tour of England and Spain

Such tours and loans represent major undertakings, and it’s worth looking for videos which show how the staff prepare and pack works such as this to ensure they travel safely.

It’s interesting to see that the story has added references to the sort of criteria which apply to loans such as this.

“All risk measures are incorporated into a formal contract, a lending agreement, with the borrower which must be agreed by both Glasgow Museums and the borrower, and be signed in advance of release of any artworks,” Mr Letford said.

“The painting is conservation assessed as fit to travel and will have a full written condition report which is used as a benchmark against which all checks are made during the loan period.

“The painting has been fitted with laminated low reflective glass to provide additional protection while on display.

“Each venue will be assessed by Glasgow Museums to ensure that all requirements for the protection of the artworks can be delivered.

This includes environmental, security and operational provisions.

The painting does not have the laminated glass fitted while on display in Glasgow (although there are other security features around it), and had been attacked there more than once, but this was many years ago.

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

Advertisements

12/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Interesting Dali article shows damage detail in reflected light – a few weeks after I did

Far be it from me to suggest I ever inspired anyone, but…

I can’t recall seeing an article where anybody bothered to go take pics of the aftermath of the damage to Dali’s ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’ on display in Kelvingrove.

After I’d made a couple of visits (following the painting’s return from its tour), I realised the lighting in the room reserved for the work could be used to highlight the repair, if you didn’t mind getting down on your knees and catching the light at the right angle – and maybe get thrown out of Kelvingrove for being ‘weird’.

Just kidding, they’re very nice in there, very very nice.

I collected a few pics without attracting undue attention, and picked a few to show in the blog on 02 January, to start 2019 with ‘something a little bit different’.

A few week later, I spotted…

The story of the vandals who nearly destroyed Glasgow’s iconic Salvador Dali painting

I think it’s the same, or similar text to an earlier article on the work (I can’t check, none of my 4 browsers will show the Search box on the source site – a dark border shows, but the text box never appears), but with a new/different pic inserted.

That’s all. Just an observation of a coincidence.

Repair to Christ of St John of the Cross Closer

Repair to Christ of St John of the Cross Closer

05/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s start the year with Salvador Dali

Happy New Year to everyone (except Bob Sherman).

After the break, time to get things rolling again, and I think something as significant as Dali’s ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’ makes a good starting point.

Not the usual view, but one I spotted recently thanks to the lighting arrangement used in Kelvingrove.

Painted in 1951, and (would you believe, controversially) purchased by Glasgow in 1952 for £8,200  after Dali asked £12,000. Currently estimated at £60 million, the council rejected an offer of £80 million from the Spanish Government. Having purchased the copyright with the painting, the image reportedly generates about £2,000 a year for the city.

This means Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí (which owns the reproduction rights for the majority of Dali’s work) missed out on this one.

In 1952 post-war Glasgow, people believed £8,250 (£225,000 today) could be better spent. They said it was old-fashioned and that the money would be better spent on the city’s educational institutions.

Even art students didn’t want it! They petitioned the council, opposing the purchase and insisting local artists were given more exposure in its exhibition space.

In fact, it wasn’t even being purchased with council funds.

The money came from a fund set up using profits of the Kelvingrove International Exhibition of 1901, which was used to buy numerous works of art for Glasgow’s museums.

Millions of people have come to see it over the years.

Vandal attacks

The painting has been attacked on two separate occasions.

The first was at noon on Saturday, 22 April 1961, when a mentally disturbed visitor attacked it with a large stone.

The man broke through the barrier around the painting and used a piece of rough sandstone to slash horizontally and vertically at the surface, then grabbed the canvas and pulled it down with their hands, causing a tear of around eight feet.

Newspapers of the time carried the headline ‘Dali Painting: Bearded Man is held for inquiry”, and reported that a 22-year-old man had been remanded in custody on suspicion of damaging the painting.

Kelvingrove’s brilliant restoration team used wax resin to repair the tear), and the painting was back on display within a few months.

The next attack came during the 1980s, when a protective Perspex cover placed in front of the painting was shot with an airgun. There seems to be very little information about this incident – if you come across any details, we’d love to hear about them.

There’s no perspex cover today, just a simple cord to mark the line visitors should not cross.

Four video cameras also watch over the painting and its room.

I suspect there are hidden security features too, as I overheard staff discussing security around the painting, apparently ‘things’ may happen suddenly if anyone strays past the cord – but they didn’t say anything specific.

Here, you can see the cord together with the repair to the huge tears inflicted on the canvas, highlighted by the angle of the lighting, thankfully not visible when looking directly at the work.

One of the cameras can also be seen to the left of the frame.

Repair to Christ of St John of the Cross

Repair to Christ of St John of the Cross

Another look, closer, with less glare.

Repair to Christ of St John of the Cross Closer

Repair to Christ of St John of the Cross Closer

02/01/2019 Posted by | council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dali returned to Kelvingrove… so did I

It’s strange to be writing this post, after the one I wrote back on 15 June.

I’ve been back to Kelvingrove many times recently, just because I can, but never when the museum and art gallery was open.

Sounds silly, but I didn’t really care. The mere fact of being able just get there again made the trip worthwhile.

But nice as that ‘practice’ was, I had to make a proper effort, and get there during opening hours.

I wasn’t sure how to mark ‘The Return’, but when I wandered along to the Dali room, this became obvious.

While I wouldn’t normally depend on even the decent compact for a shot such as this, it had to be a recreation of the pic I’d taken before the Dali left Glasgow for its first tour.

I basically let the camera chose its own modes and settings, other than disabling the flash, which is both not allowed (and I’d prefer not to be thrown out of one of my haunts), and pointless, given the huge sheet of glass with protects the painting now.

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross (compact)

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross (compact)

It’s not often I get the chance to compare a shot which contains truly subtle detail taken with the compact and my big camera, but this was a rare opportunity.

I don’t think I even have to describe he difference between this, and the earlier ‘pro’ shot I took back in August 2017 during an earlier visit.

Placing them side-by-side – that needs even less said.

Compact on left, large sensor original on right.

Excuse the differences due to processing and framing – these were taken at different times with no plan to compare them – but these make no difference to the detail which was recorded in each.

Click for a little bigger.

Dali Compare

Dali Compare

Both even have the same reflection coming in from the door behind (the prominent white feature in the left hand image) – albeit in slightly different locations

It’s funny, I find that reviews of the compact camera’s results in daylight tend to be more favourable than the large sensor camera.

But there’s no doubt that when the going gets tough, it keeps on delivering, while the compact makes a brave effort, it rapidly descends to the ‘mush’ level. For those who care, the ISO figure here is above 3200.

 

 

 

07/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Dali returns to Kelvingrove, but…

I should be happy, but I’m sad.

Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross was on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and the Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida.

It left back in August 2017, and I was able to go see it.

It’s now back on display in its purpose-built gallery in Kelvingrove.

But I can’t go see it.

That’s all.

Salvador Dali painting returns to Kelvingrove

Oh. I should add, it’s due for another holiday next year, when it will then go on loan to Auckland Castle in County Durham from autumn 2019 until spring 2020.

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

15/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Last chance to see Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross before first tour stint

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

Dali Christ of St John of the Cross

It was a bit of a wake-up call when I saw an item about the painting earlier this week, alerting anyone interested that the iconic painting is heading to London soon, and won’t be back in Glasgow until next summer. The first alert had come back in May, but I didn’t move.

The painting will be one of the star attractions of Dalí/Duchamp, opening on 7 October at the Royal Academy of Arts.

The exhibition will then travel to The Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida from February to May 2018.

I had a look at the Dalí Museum – tickets there are $24.

(Think that as you enjoy free admission to Kelvingrove! We really do enjoy some benefits here – as a native Glaswegian, I just can’t comprehend not being able to visit museums as often as I wish.)

It will then go on loan to Auckland Castle in County Durham from autumn 2019 until spring 2020.

We will get a piece by Hentry Raeburn from the Royal Academy in return.

I have my own thoughts on the replacement we need while this painting is on loan.

It was nice to see that Kelvingrove was busy, and that the small room where the painting is displayed was also busy (as opposed to mobbed). A steady stream of viewers passed through, also watching a video showing near the door to the room, and displays relating to the history of the painting and its acquisition.

I was pleased to see that there were no restrictions on photography (other than the all-encompassing ‘No Flash’ request – ignored by some). One of the coups achieved by Honeyman (who purchased the painting for Glasgow) was to have the copyright included (often retained by the artist), and I have been to other museum where they have the equivalent of the ‘Heavy Squad’ on hand, enforcing a No Photography rule on works they own copyright for.

That’s bad, very bad, and I just don’t patronise them. They’re also in a land where you have to pay for museum admission.

04/08/2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

The replacement we need for Dali’s iconic work, Christ of St John of the Cross

It’s already well known that Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross is set to leave Kelvingrove and begin a series of world tours from September 2017 will see the painting go on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, returning in summer 2018: Salvador Dali painting to leave Glasgow on loan

I don’t think I saw any mention of what will take its place, but I’m guessing a copy will take its place, to mitigate some of the disappointment visitors may suffer.

However…

Given that Dali was the creator of the original, perhaps this find from the interwebs might suggest a possible alternative, which would also pay tribute, or ‘cat tax’ to our feline overlords:

Dali Melting Cat

Dali Melting Cat

19/07/2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dali’s iconic work, Christ of St John of the Cross to go on tour

I have a vague recollection of Salvador Dali’s iconic work, Christ of St John of the Cross, going on tour some years ago, but have no notes or mentions of thus from the time, but also from my own less-than-perfect memory, I also seem to have a definite note that the news of the time carried a warning to visitors that they were not viewing the original painting, but a copy commissioned to ensure its absence was not too hard to bear. (I can’t dig up an online note to confirm this, but I doubt I could have imagined both memories. Maybe someone reading this can confirm.)

Purely as a work of art, it is a most impressive sight, and one I was surprised to learn was owned by Glasgow’s Kelvingrove.

(The embedded slideshow below is supposed to be WordPress compatible, but the buttons don’t seem to work – try the source.)

Painted in 1951 and purchased by the City of Glasgow in 1952, it has become one of the best-loved in the entire collection, amongst Glaswegians and visitors.​

Dali’s creation was one of the more controversial purchases made by Dr Tom Honeyman, then Director of Glasgow Museums. It is now widely recognised that Dr Honeyman made a very astute decision. Not only did he secure the painting for less than the catalogue price, that price included the copyright, giving Glasgow a never-ending source of revenue from its investment

However, the painting was not well-received by everyone – students from Glasgow School of Art argued that the money could have been used to purchase work from Glaswegian or Scottish artists.

But, after going on display at Kelvingrove in 1952, the work attracted visitors in their droves as the gallery now attracts millions of visitors per year.

Sadly, the painting’s presence has not been without drama, and it has been damaged twice, most famously when the canvas was badly torn by a visitor wielding a sharp stone. Fortunately, the skilled conservators at Kelvingrove were able to repair the painting and the damage is barely visible.

Tours

September 2017 will see the painting go on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, returning in summer 2018.

Glaswegians, and anyone who visits Kelvingrove, might care to take note that while we can wander in for a look as often as we like, with our Scottish National Museums offering Free Admission – ONE visit to the RA will set visitors back a massive £15.50 (£14 if you withhold the donation).

The painting will be one of the star attractions of Dalí/Duchamp, opening on 7 October. The exhibition will then travel to The Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida from February to May 2018.

I had a look at the Dalí Museum – tickets there are $24.

It will then go on loan to Auckland Castle in County Durham from autumn 2019 until spring 2020.

Via: Salvador Dali painting to leave Glasgow on loan

29/05/2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: