Kelvingrove Museum announce Dalí’s Christ of St John of the Cross to go on loan | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
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Kelvingrove Museum announce Dalí’s Christ of St John of the Cross to go on loan

One of Scotland’s favourite paintings, Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí, which hangs in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is to go on loan. The iconic artwork will first travel to the Royal Academy of Arts in London in September 2017, before returning to Kelvingrove in the summer of 2018. It will then go on loan again to Auckland Castle, County Durham in autumn 2019 until spring 2020. 

Painted in 1951 and purchased by the City of Glasgow in 1952, Christ of St John of the Cross continues to be one of the real draws for the million plus people who visit Kelvingrove Museum each year. It will remain on show at Kelvingrove Museum for most of the school summer holiday period, before coming down in early August, in preparation for its move to the Royal Academy, London. The painting will be one of the star attractions of Dalí/Duchamp, opening on 7 October 2017. The exhibition will then travel to The Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida from February to May 2018.  

Dalí/Duchamp is the first exhibition to throw light on the surprising relationship between the two artistic giants, father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp and Surrealist Salvador Dalí. It will bring together over 60 works, including some of Dalí’s most inspired and technically accomplished paintings and sculptures and Duchamp’s ground-breaking assemblages and readymades, together with less familiar work. The focused exploration will offer fresh ways of looking at both figures, radically revising their familiar places in art history. Christ of Saint John of the Cross will be at the heart of this exhibition, central to its key themes, particularly myth, the relationship between science and religion, and perspective. It will join monumental artworks loaned from across the globe, including Figueres Spain, New York, Paris and London. 

Head of Glasgow Museums, Duncan Dornan, said: “The iconic Christ of St John of the Cross will be a highlight of this summer’s Dalí/Duchamp exhibition at the RA in London and then the Dalí Museum in Florida. Showing this artwork in a new context and considering it in a way we might not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so, enables us to gain a new perspective on the inventive and intelligent man who created this Glasgow treasure, before it goes back on show at Kelvingrove in the summer of 2018.  

“Glasgow’s art collection is considered one of the finest in Europe and loaning key pieces increases access to the works so that people across the country and indeed the world can enjoy them, bolstering our reputation. These partnerships also allow visitors to Kelvingrove to enjoy striking artworks from other important collections, such as the wonderful Raeburn painting, Boy and Rabbit, that will be on display in Kelvingrove this autumn.”

Tim Marlow, Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Arts, said: “We are delighted and grateful that Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has agreed to loan such a major work.  Showing Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross together with seminal works by Duchamp will be one of the undoubted highlights of the Royal Academy’s forthcoming Dali/Duchamp exhibition.”

It is the first time Christ of St John of the Cross has been on loan since 2010. It featured in Salvador Dalí: The Late Work, an important exhibition focusing on Dalí’s later career at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, USA. The must-see painting, one of the best-loved in Glasgow Museums’ entire collection for both tourists and Glaswegians alike, will return to Kelvingrove Museum in summer 2018, before travelling to County Durham for an exhibition at Auckland Castle in autumn 2019. 

One of the Royal Academy’s most popular and moving paintings, Henry Raeburn’s Boy and Rabbit will go on show at Kelvingrove Museum as part of a reciprocal loan agreement.  This remarkable portrait depicts the artist’s grandchild, Henry Raeburn Inglis, with his pet rabbit. The boy was deaf and this painting is all about the senses, with touch being of particular importance in the relationship between this young boy and his pet. The painting offers an inspiring story of triumph in the face of adversity, the boy going on to become an artist in his own right, no doubt inspired by his grandfather’s example. Boy and Rabbit will hang in the portrait section of the Looking at Art gallery in Kelvingrove Museum from September 2017 until May 2018, where it is expected to be a real highlight with museum visitors, particularly children and families.  A programme of exciting events, talks and workshops will be on offer around the different themes explored by the painting while it is on display.   

An image of Christ of St John of the Cross will remain in the space at Kelvingrove Museum, alongside AV interpretation that explains Dalí’s inspiration for the work and how the painting came to be in Glasgow’s collection.

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