Friday, 21 June 2013

Birthdays and Dilemmas.

The farmer enjoyed his birthday meal (photo is of him eating his strawberry pavlova - he always orders all the things I try not to let him eat for his health's sake!) and thanks everyone who sent him Birthday Wishes.

As for the dilemma of the title.   This is just a post to show that farmers and their wives do not spend all their time thinking about farming and do sometimes discuss wider issues.

Anyone who has ever seen the magnificent Burrell collection in Glasgow - a collection of paintings, sculptures, medieval glass - all the things that Sir William Burrell, the shipping magnate, collected over the years and finally left to the City of Glasgow in 1944 - will agree that Scotland is very lucky to have such a collection.

Sir William made a couple of provisos in his will.  One was that the collection should be housed outside of Glasgow to avoid the effects of pollution and the other was that it should never be sent abroad on exhibitions.   Both provisos were understandable in the days when he made them - there was a lot of foul air from industry and there was a war going on, when the art could have ended up at the bottom of the sea.

Richard Morrison in The Times writes about it today.  Apparently the first proviso (the collection staying outside Glasgow) was overturned some years ago when a magnificent new gallery was built, just to house it.   But now, because the folk in charge of the collection are refurbishing the Gallery where it is housed - at a cost of £45million - they would like to send parts of it abroad to earn some revenue.   There is no longer a danger of it sinking beneath the waves, as there was in Sir William's day.  But it seems that getting the proviso overturned might be very difficult.

What do readers of my blog think?   I suppose the principle applies to any proviso made in any will.   You can't ask the person who made it - but you can surmise what they might have said.   In this case you can't help feeling that Sir William would have agreed in today's climate that such journeys were necessary.   Similarly, in any will, urgent need of money (from something like a sale of land, or jewelry or the like) would probably have been sanctioned were the person still alive.

But it is an interesting issue and I will be interested to see what anyone who reads my blog thinks about it.   Only a tiny straw poll I know - but I have always found that you lot out there talk a lot of sense.

Sorry but I can't get the photograph on today - farmer thinks it is just as well!

11 comments:

Twiglet said...

I think a loan overseas to raise money would be a good idea and mean all the works of art can still be appreciated. I guess he maybe meant that he didn't want them to leave these shores for ever. Jo

angryparsnip said...

First, Happy Birthday to the Farmer and let there be cake !

I have been able to see many exhibits that I might never be able to see because they were on loan. One of my favorite one was The Tutankhamun exhibit that was on loan for the first time so many years ago. And had several stops in the U.S.

cheers, parsnip

Judy said...

I think he would be astonished that a building worth that much was built, just to house his collection!!! And with that in mind, I think he could see it clear to loan some of the pieces, to help raise revenue. But then, my father told me, not too long ago, that I am too nice, so maybe you should take that into account...
As for hoarding stuff - yes, I know all too well, but I come by it honestly, as you can see in some of my photos of rust and dust...

Heather said...

I don't blame the farmer for eating 'naughty' things on his birthday! I hope he had a good day and enjoyed himself.
I feel sure that such an astute businessman would have agreed that pieces from his collection should travel abroad to generate the revenue for refurbishing the gallery.

Hildred said...

I guess it is all in how you look at the issue, - from a moral/ethical standpoint or a pragmatic one. I would think one's last wishes should be morally acknowledged and honoured, but I can see from a practical viewpoint and a change in circumstances that raising money to maintain the collection would be the reasonable thing to do, and one that would allow it a greater outreach. An ongoing dilemma for ethical purists.

Hildred said...

Glad the Farmer had a lovely birthday and he got to indulge himself in naughty food!

Golden West said...

I am all for the will being enforced as a binding contract. He made his wishes known in writing as a condition of his donation.

Rachel said...

£45M refurbishment figure is amazing and I cannot get my head around it. I have visited the Burrell Collection, and a fine Collection it is in a fine location. However, I am gobsmacked that a refurbishment figure of such astronomical proportions is contemplated. How can this figure be reached? As for the intentions of the Will? Burrell would turn in his grave if he could see the state of the world we live in today so to see his collection on loan would probably not surprise him and he would get over it.

Sarah Head said...

I think it's very difficult when you're dealing with statutes apertaining to times long gone. I was once part of a project trying to set up a crisis house for people with mental health problems. The local councillor played the "all madmen are axe murderers card" so we had to abandon the project, but afterwards we discovered there was a local statute prohibiting the setting up of madhouses, tanneries and candle making within the locality boundaries which might have made the scheme impossible even if there hadn't been opposition. You can understand why all three endevours would be prohibited within an area of housing in medieval times, but the same standards don't really apply today. I think the issues you raise about the Burrows collection have the same implications. The prohibitions fitted the time they were made, but circumstances change. Unfortunately you can't discuss this with Sir William, but presumably his descendents/trustess can?

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

If many famous collections never traveled, some of us would miss out on a lot. There was a Monet collection recently near us - and King Tut has been here too - so yes, I'm in favor of tours - and I'm sure the original owner would be proud to have his items on tour.

I hope the farmer's birthday was wonderful and full of delicious things to eat. My husband had an aunt who rationed her portions so carefully, and NEVER ate anything naughty - never ever - she was unfortunately killed in a freak car accident and she had missed all the fun of a carefree enjoyment of the little pleasures in life. She never knew the taste of a lemon pie - or a chocolate cake. Life is for enjoyment - happy strawberries farmer.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I knew your comments would be interesting! Thanks for taking part.