Inside the Art Gallery

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Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is located in the centre of Glasgow. It is the main contemporary gallery in Glasgow that has hosted several million visitors since its opening. The focus of the Gallery is on contemporary social issues, often featuring groups marginalized in today’s society.

The Gallery of Modern Art was opened in 1996 in a neoclassical building in Royal Exchange Square. The building was constructed in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunnunghame of Lainshaw, one of the Tobacco Lords. Later it became the Royal Bank of Scotland (in 1817) and subsequently it turned into the Royal Exchange (after the David Hamilton’s renovation in 1827 – 1832, when the building was a bit changed – Corinthian pillars to the Queen Street facade, the cupola above and the large hall to the rear of the old house were added). In 1954 Sterling’s Library moved into the building and when it returned to its own building, this became the Gallery of the Modern Art.

The gallery offers many temporary exhibitions and workshops dealing with film and media, Fine Art, Performing Arts or photography. The permanent exhibition consists of four galleries, each with an elemental theme. Works by both international and local artist are displayed (David Hockney, Sebastiao Salgado, Andy Warhol as well as Scots John Bellany and Ken Currie). Children are attracted by the cartoon macabre sculptures, some of which hang from sublimely ornate ceilings. GoMA has a dedicated Education and Access studio, facilitating workshops and artists talks and in the basement a Learning Library. The building also contains a café, free Internet access terminals, multimedia, art, and general book-lending facilities.

There is a statue of Duke of Wellington on horseback in front of the gallery. The statue is usually seen to have a traffic cone on its head.
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