Sunday, 2 April 2017

Goth Tourist in Glasgow

On my little holiday in Glasgow, I indulged myself by visiting various art museums. But, not all darkly inclined people are such art museum freaks as me, so I am going to feature just four sights that are rather gothy and are available all year around. All of these also happen to be free of charge.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum are an extensive collection of art, natural science, and history. The exhibit space is filled with paintings, statues, taxidermy animals, armors and what not.

My personal favourite of the artworks was this distressed Harpy by Mary Pownall (1902). The title of the work is The Harpy Celaeno. It was almost impossible to take a photo of the statue, for some reason my phone's camera refused to focus on it. Spooky.

The harpy is groping her chest, her claws bite into her own skin, and her face expression implicates sorrow and pain. Harpies are usually depicted without hands and often in groups, so this is an unusual sculpture. It is much more human than is customary.

From 1st of April till 1st of October 2017 they feature an exhibition of superheros and comics. It looks very interesting but unfortunately I did not get to see it.

Glasgow University & the Hunterian Museum

Anatomical samples in jars.Magnificent Gothic architecture of the University is worth checking out, and so is the Hunterian Museum inside it. The museum is named after William Hunter (1718–1783), who was a former student of the University and a keen collector of all things marvelous. His collection was the base for the museum. Collection ranges from the artifacts of Ancient Rome to Physics inventions.

The most macabre part of the collection is the Anatomical and Pathological Collection. Many of the samples are human but some are disfigured animals with more heads and feet than is usual.

The Glasgow Botanical Gardens

Glasgow Botanic Gardens are a marvelous place but for goths and other macabre folk the Botanic Gardens offer a whole room dedicated to killer plants. These plants are carnivores and on my visit I learned that there are 5 different method categories for the plants to trap their pray. One of them being 'lobster pot traps which use inward and downward pointing hairs to force pray to move towards a digestive organ'.
Carnivore plants.

I doubt these particular carnivorous plants in the photo use that method of 'lobster pot traps' but they sure are beautiful. The other rooms of the hothouses were very nice too.

Glasgow Necropolis

Last but not least, the Glasgow Necropolis. It is a Victorian garden cemetery and there are many beautiful and ornamental gravestones and memorials. The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis organize guided tours and it is a good idea to participate one if possible. The Friends of Glasgow guides give depth to your visit, because they can tell about the history of the graves and the cemetery.

If your visit doesn't match with the tour program, another thing I can recommend is to buy a book they've published: The Glasgow Necropolis After lives – Tales of Interments by Ruth Johnston. It costs £ 8 plus delivery but it does make your visit way better. Me and my friend had that book with us when we went on our visit and it was marvelous.
A woman in a cemetery.
We started on the recommended route up the hill and every time we saw an interesting gravestone, we searched its photo from Johnston's book. The book includes 150 most interesting graves and Johnston has collected all sorts of facts about the artwork, the lives of the people who are buried there, and so forth.

I hope these tips will be helpful for another goth tourist in Glasgow!

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