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Glasgow Art Club

Have you ever heard of The Glasgow Art Club? If you’re not a local or not on the art scene in Scotland, it’s possible you haven’t. A visit to Glasgow Art Club is not often found on lists of things to do in Glasgow, but it should be. Founded in 1867, this beautiful building is a private members club with a difference, located in some of the most beautiful architecture in the city. Glasgow Art Club is one of the closest neighbours of PREMIER SUITES serviced apartments on Bath Street which makes us the ideal accommodation if you’re planning a visit.

What is Glasgow Art Club?

 The Glasgow Art Club is a private members club, steeped in culture and heritage. It has notoriously been the meeting place for generations of the city’s most creative people to display their art or meet like-minded peers. The Art Club has a regular programme of events and exhibitions which change throughout the year. Founded in 1867 by a young amateur artist called William Dennistoun, Glasgow Art Club has held its current residence in Bath Street since 1893. The building is an elegant and unusual setting for a formal dinner, meeting or wedding reception for up to 100 people.

The History of Glasgow Art Club

After illness forced him to leave the city of Glasgow, William Dennistoun’s friends made the journey to his cottage in rural Old Kilpatrick to draw and paint together. Dennistoun proposed that they form an art club and he and 10 of his friends launched the club in the Waverley Temperance Hotel on Buchanan Street. At their monthly meetings, each member would bring a painting and the others would comment leading to discussions and typically among passionate artists, disputes.  The club moved from place to place until 1878 when it moved to 62 Bothwell Circus. A critical need for cash compelled the artists to admit lay people, although women had to wait until 1983. To accommodate all of the newcomers the club rented a new home at 151 Bath Street but were soon cramped.

185 Bath Street

It was time for Glasgow Art Club to buy its home. In 1893, the club purchased adjacent townhouses on Bath Street. John Keppie, a member of the club was tasked with restoring and converting the houses and he also created an adjoining gallery in the small back gardens. There is recent evidence that the young Charles Rennie Mackintosh had an impact in choosing some of the gallery’s ornamental details. The club was ready to open and became the location for countless dinners, dances, concerts, lectures and exhibitions over its almost 130-year history so far. The Gallery has undergone a complete renovation including the reinstatement of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh frieze, now one of the main attractions for visitors. As well as a city attraction, the club acts as a haven for members to relax during the day and enjoy a break from the bustling Glasgow streets.

Guided Tours of Glasgow Art Club

Steeped in culture and creativity, the building has been somewhat of an enigma to lay people, having been a private members-only club for many decades. Now, however, you can book a private guided tour of the building, learn more about its members and enjoy the magnificent artworks within. Their friendly and knowledgeable guides take you through the building to give you a fascinating insight into the history of the Glasgow Art Club and its collections. The gallery was recently refurbished and restored to its former Victorian glory, meaning you have a very unique look at the life of the privileged in the 1800s.

More Art in Glasgow

Glasgow has a much wider artistic palette than fine Victorian art. There are galleries and exhibitions all over the city, not to mention the fantastic street art and murals that brighten even the darkest corners. Glasgow has one of the most expansive collections of art in the world, spread out across 13 museums throughout the city. Visit Kelvingrove to enjoy art from many art movements and periods of history, one of the most famous beingSalvador Dali’s masterpiece ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’. The Gallery of Modern Art gives visitors a very unique, no-traditional vision of what art looks like in this century, some of which might leave you scratching your head! If you’re planning a visit to Glasgow Art Club book flexible, comfortable accommodation next door in PREMIER SUITES serviced apartments in Glasgow. If you travel often, contact our team for discounted corporate rates and special offers.


Learn all about PREMIER SUITES and discover things to do and see near our fantastic city centre locations.

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Sep 2019
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