The Hunterian, the oldest public museum in Scotland, is at the forefront of university museums around the world. Since it opened at the University of Glasgow in 1807, The Hunterian has been an invaluable academic and community resource and is committed to becoming a more meaningful place for more diverse audiences.
The Hunterian’s contemporary art programme responds to and interacts with its collections, spaces and histories to make new connections and to reflect people, ideas and stories. The Hunterian collection’s historic foundation is a repository of knowledge that materialises the problematic history of Western society and its fundamentally colonial and capitalist underpinnings. Taking this as a point of departure and critical reflection, its contemporary art programme seeks to interrogate the institution’s genealogy, and to introduce different perspectives into its spaces.
In April 2023, The Hunterian will reveal a full redisplay of its art gallery, framing questions about how these amazing collections can be more meaningful to more people. The works on display will reflect new themes, ideas and approaches and will ask questions, inviting dialogue and discussion. Challenging existing principles, including the hierarchy of art by looking at the margins of art production, the displays will include a significant number of works made by women, items that have never been on display before, or haven’t been on view for a number of years, and works that have undergone intense conservation, giving them a new lease of life.
The 2023 programme will comprise:
Lis Rhodes: 12th May-15th Oct 2023
An exhibition featuring works by pioneering experimental filmmaker Lis Rhodes which have recently been acquired for The Hunterian collection through a Freelands Art Fund Acquisition award. These range from Pictures on Pink Paper from 1982, a feminist exploration of gendered systems of value and power, to more recent works that track the social and political implications of neo-liberalism in the UK and internationally.
The Trembling Museum: 1st Dec 2023-5th May 2024
Filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara and art historian and curator Terri Geis will collaborate with The Hunterian to create an exhibition that showcases and reinterprets its collection of African art. Drawing on the ideas of Martinican poet Édouard Glissant, and particularly his concept of ‘trembling with the world,’ the show will connect diverse historical and contemporary material from The Hunterian collection and beyond.
The Hunterian, in partnership with Art Fund, FVU and GI, has commissioned new works from artists and since 2017 has featured solo exhibitions by a range of contemporary artists.
The Hunterian opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm.