mima - Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

mima - Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Centre Square






general info

01642 726720


01642 726722

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mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
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mima is one of the UK's leading galleries for modern and contemporary art and craft. The landmark building designed by Erick van Egeraat Architects is situated in the heart of Middlesbrough. mima opened to international critical acclaim in January 2007. Hosting temporary exhibitions of fine art and craft from 1900 to the present, mima showcases work by internationally acclaimed artists. Exhibitions change throughout the year and admission is free.

mima is part of Middlesbrough Council and is funded by Middlesbrough Council and Arts Council England.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

Tues, Wed, Fri & Sat 10.00 – 16.30
Thurs 10.00 – 19.00
(FREE parking on Thurs from 16.00)
Sun 12.00 - 16.00
Closed Mon and Bank Holidays

Admission charges


mima brings together Middlesbrough’s art collections for the first time.

The mima collection comprises outstanding fine and applied art from 1900 to the present day, with many pieces acquired by mima’s forerunners, Middlesbrough Art Gallery and the Cleveland Craft Centre.

Rather than being on permanent display, works from the collection are drawn upon throughout the exhibition programme. This gives mima's curators the opportunity to demonstrate the artistic quality of works acquired as well as constantly re-inventing the way in which works are presented.

Collection details

Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of sculpture at mima

Sculpture in mima garden: HA[SOFT]RD by Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

  • 24 April — 24 December 2014 *on now

In 2012, mima was selected to host the Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award (ARMA) Artist in Residence. Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva was invited to produce a new site specific sound sculpture for mima’s garden. Elpida worked closely with mima’s Creative Apprentices as well as local communities and businesses to capture memories of Middlesbrough.

Elpida’s sound sculpture is situated in mima’s garden for all to enjoy. You can walk round and through the sculpture to activate the sound.

Elpidas starting point was to first explore, visit and research this great region, its rich landscape, industrial roots and pioneering heritage in iron and steel making.

Through a series of workshops and events, Elpida interviewed a wide range of people from Middlesbrough gathering and recording their stories and memories of living and working in the town including their hopes and dreams for the future, alongside sound recordings from local industry and heritage sites.

HA[SOFT]RD stands tall like a machined jewel using industrial parts and materials that reflect the town’s local economy and recent business growth. The honeycomb porcelain filters used widely in local industry float within a bespoke steel mesh which makes up the body of the work, perfectly framed within a strong steel structure.

The work is a tribute to the town’s industrial roots and the local community who proudly refer to themselves as ‘smoggies’, a nickname for people from Teesside that was coined due to the industrial nature of the area. It was first used as a derogatory term, but now many people proudly call themselves Smoggies, including supporters of Middlesbrough FC and local MP Tom Blenkinsop, who used it in a parliamentary speech in 2011.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



illustration of woman wearing bracelet

Drawing the Jewellery Collection

  • 4 October 2014 — 15 February 2015 *on now

mima has been collecting contemporary jewellery since the early 1980s and is internationally renowned for its unique collection of striking pieces.

Drawing The Jewellery Collection celebrates key works from the collection which challenge traditional use of materials and approaches to wearability. A series of drawings and paintings inspired by the collection, and responding to pieces on the human figure, will be on show around mima, including in the second floor community exhibition space.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



photograph of woman wearing large gold brooch

Jewellery Gallery

  • 4 October 2014 — 4 October 2024 *on now

mima has an outstanding collection of contemporary jewellery, one of the finest publicly-owned jewellery collections in the UK, to rival those of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the National Galleries of Scotland. Featuring beautiful, provocative and fascinating pieces, the collection has not previously been on permanent display. The collection includes work by Ted Noten, Gijs Bakker, Karl Fritsch, Wendy Ramshaw, Otto Künzli and Felieke van der Leest.

mima and Teesside University, in a joint project, have converted a 1292 square foot space that was previously a storeroom into a purpose-built gallery for the 228 piece collection. As well as the exciting new display and accompanying education and events programmes, mima and Teesside University have appointed two jewellers in residence, Janet Hinchliffe McCutcheon and Gemma Draper. A joint project with Teesside University, with funding from Arts Council England.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



abstract still life painting

International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915-1965

  • 24 October 2014 — 25 January 2015 *on now

International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915–1965, presented in collaboration with Tate St Ives, explores the national and international contexts which shaped art in the port town of St Ives, which was an artistic centre of international importance during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

The group of artists who lived and worked in and around this coastal village in the far south west of Britain generally have their work viewed in terms of their location and use of landscape and nature. International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915–1965 takes a look at the art of St Ives from a different perspective.

The exhibition positions the work of these artists within wider formal, technical and philosophical debates, revealing the St Ives artists to be part of an international search for new forms of art which defined modern art following the Second World War. Major works by artists such as Patrick Heron, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth are shown alongside those of their contemporaries from elsewhere in Europe, America and beyond, such as Wassily Kandinsky and Mark Rothko.



photograph of shipping container with display

Derek Eland: Diary Rooms

  • 11 November 2014 — 26 February 2015 *on now

Derek Eland is a multi-media artist whose work is primarily focused on engaging with people about what it is like to ‘be human’ in stressful and difficult situations. He is interested in the use of the written word, particularly in a digital age, to access real emotions and thoughts. Much of his work is created on location, particularly through the use of ‘Diary Rooms’, and then re-contextualised in a gallery setting.

In 2011 he worked as an official War Artist embedded with the British Army in Helmand, Afghanistan. Diary Rooms describes the results of Derek’s time there. He visited Afghanistan to create a ‘Diary Room’ experience for front line soldiers, both British and Afghan, by providing them with blank cards and offering them the opportunity to write down their immediate thoughts.

The stories and comments written on the cards are raw, honest and varied, from the remarkable to the mundane, the extraordinary to the everyday. The reality of everyday life for troops sits alongside emotional accounts written in the immediate aftermath of battle. Diary Rooms presents a collective self portrait of individual experiences on the front line of a contemporary conflict – with soldiers often referring to ‘two wars’, one involving bullets and bombs and the other which goes on in a soldiers head when everything goes quiet.



drawing by David Lynch

David Lynch Naming

  • 12 December 2014 — 26 March 2015 *on now

David Lynch – probably best known as a film and television director – originally studied painting at the Boston Museum School and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has exhibited widely internationally at many prestigious galleries, and is acclaimed in painting, photography, printmaking and drawing. Lynch’s film and television work – such as Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and the iconic Twin Peaks – is known for being visually striking, surreal, dream-like, disturbing and beautiful: many of these qualities can be seen in his fine art.

The exhibition traces how Lynch uses ‘naming’ in film, photography, drawings, watercolours, painting and prints from 1968 to the present. The complex relationship between objects and their names has been a point of departure in his work since The Alphabet, the second short film he made as a student in 1968 and shown as part of the exhibition. For Lynch, the act of naming something is never simple: names are not always descriptive of objects in Lynch’s universe. His images and text, working together in unusual ways, create new meanings and a deeper understanding of how language operates.

mima is delighted to be the first UK venue to present the exhibition David Lynch Naming, originally shown in Los Angeles, California. It was originally curated for Kayne Griffin Corcoran in Los Angeles, by Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center in New York.



painting of art deco style building

Stephen McKenna

  • 6 February — 7 June 2015

Stephen McKenna, who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1986, has lived and worked in various countries since the 1960s, and he has been based in Ireland since 1998.

This exhibition will be Stephen’s largest museum solo presentation in over 10 years, and will feature work from throughout his career. The underlying theme of the exhibition is the artist’s response to travelling through Europe – the resulting work, made between 1980 and the present, reflect not only the cities, landscapes, people and artefacts of the countries which Stephen has visited, but also their histories and the contents of their museums.



image by Geogina Starr

Georgina Starr

  • 3 April — 28 May 2015

mima is delighted to present a solo exhibition of British artist Georgina Starr.

A new body of work will explore the many aspects of Starr’s oeuvre from her early interest and study in ceramics and sculpture to her most recent large-scale installations and theatrical events that incorporate film, performance and sound.



Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

mini mima


A fun interactive morning session with focused art activities, free-play, circle time and refreshments for children aged 0-4 years.

How to obtain

Booking is essential and sessions cost £3. Contact mima@middlesbrough.gov.uk for more details.