1861 - ?

Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts was founded in 1861 when on 29 May, a group of ten or so of Glasgow’s prominent citizens met in the Queen’s Rooms, Buchanan Street, to discuss the establishment of annual exhibitions of the work of living artists. Glasgow Corporation agreed to the hire of the Corporation Galleries, now the McLellan Galleries, in new Galleries in opened Sauchiehall Street with the annual exhibition of 1879 but 1902 they returned to their original gallery. Queen Victoria conferred its Royal status in 1896. Over the years such artistic luminaries as Lavery, Guthrie, Millais, Holman Hunt, Poynter, Leighton, Watts, Burne Jones and McTaggart have all exhibited there. The RGI displays something in the region of 400 works at its annual open exhibitions which usually take place in October and the Institute remains, by far, the largest and the best attended exhibition of contemporary art. It has provided space on its walls for many shades of artistic opinion and no longer operates the aesthetic censorship that was prevalent in the 1920 and 1930s.