Places to Visit in Scotland
- Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Glasgow

GOMA is housed in the centre of Glasgow in a building originally built as an elegant, grecian-style mansion for an 18th century tobacco merchant who had made his fortune in America. It then became a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The building was subsequently redesigned by David Hamilton as a Royal Exchange for Glasgow merchants. In more recent times it has been used as a public library.

When it opened as a gallery of modern art, it came in for a lot of criticism from the "art establishment" who considered that it was too "populist." They were right - it has indeed become very popular, with over 400,000 visitors a year, and none the worse for that! This is a modern art gallery which everyone can enjoy, even those who would not normally consider themselves "arty". And the art which has been acquired for this gallery has been produced by living artists. There is much of Glasgow here, of course, with Beryl Cook's "By the Clyde" (pictured here) and "Karaoke" and the minute detail of a Glasgow tenement in Avril Paton's "Windows in the West."

Peter Howson, whose work has been purchased by major corporate and private collectors in the UK and USA, is well represented with his sometimes brutal figures and the gallery seems to enjoy presenting three dimensional perspectives which make people stop and blink, such as "The Shadow of War" by Patrick Hughes. And there are not too many art galleries with sculptures of "The King" (Elvis Presley, complete with halo) and the Queen (in carpet slippers and dressing gown). Yes, definitely, populist!

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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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