The Art Fund helps Glasgow Boys masterpiece to steam into Glasgow gallery

  • 23 June 2008

The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity, has awarded the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow a grant of £35,000 to help secure a key example of work by the highly regarded group of Scottish artists, the Glasgow Boys.

Stirling Station by William Kennedy is a significant example of the colorful depictions of Scottish life that the young group of artists produced at the end of the 19th Century challenging the Scottish art establishment and gaining themselves international recognition.

Throughout the 1880s and 1890s the Glasgow Boys captured the many facets of the character of Scotland with works that interpreted the painting styles of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements. Typically these paintings featured rural scenes from around Glasgow, making Stirling Station an unusual Glasgow Boys painting of an urban semi-industrial landscape. Though one of the group, William Kennedy spent much of his artistic career based in Stirling, and is best known for painting the daily life of the military that were based at the nearby castle. The railway subject matter of Stirling Station was a rare choice for the artist, and Kennedy is the only member of the group known to have produced a picture of railways.

David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: “Stirling Station is an outstanding painting which will strengthen the Kelvingrove’s existing collection of the Glasgow Boys’ work, and brilliantly illustrates the fascinating story of these rebellious and innovative artists.”

The strong aesthetic appeal of Stirling Station can be attributed to the Glasgow Boys’ high admiration for the renowned artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The painting bears strong similarities to his Nocturne series, and combined with Kennedy’s beautiful execution in oil, these influences have produced a striking painting that balances the excitement of steam travel with the glow of the evening sun.

Stirling Station was purchased by Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for just under £237,000. The Art Fund gave a grant of £35,000, £150,000 came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the remaining amount came from local and museum funds.


Notes to Editors:
1. The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art.
2. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.
3. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.
4. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit