mima - Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
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Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) is the useful museum, a civic institution that promotes art as a tool for social change.

Its programme integrates exhibitions and collection displays with learning activities, off-site projects, commissions and community-focused initiatives.

It plays a key role in the cultural ecology of North East England, particularly Teesside, and is internationally recognised for its mission.

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

It is a member of the Plus Tate network and partner of ‘The Uses of Art – The Legacy of 1848 and 1989’, a project by the European museums confederation L’Internationale

Visit the mima shop to discover a unique range of hand crafted ceramics and jewellery, great gift ideas and art books & magazines.

With family friendly interactive guides, maps, doodle sheets, drawing materials, special events and a family welcome area, mima is a great place to get creative with the little ones.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

Monday, Closed
Tuesday, 10.00 - 16.30
Wednesday, 10.00 - 16.30
Thursday, 10.00 - 19.00
Friday,10.00 - 16.30
Saturday, 10.00 - 16.30
Sunday, 12.00 - 16.00

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.

The Office of Useful Art - Ongoing

  • 21 July 2015 — 21 July 2016 *on now

presenting case studies from the Archive of Arte Útil and reintroducing the old idea that art is not for its own sake, but a tool for social change.

The office is not an art exhibition but a working office for the association open to the public and at the core of mima’s new philosophy.

Artworks from our collection will be displayed alongside this archive, which we could consider being examples of useful art – you are invited to participate in this working office, with opportunities to make, create and share your ideas of what useful art means to you.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs des Plantations Congolaises

Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs des Plantations Congolaises

  • 6 February — 29 May 2016 *on now

The Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs des Plantations Congolaises is a group based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. It brings together plantation workers who engage in art making at settlements of the Institute for Human Activities in the country’s rainforest. This organisation was established by the Dutch artist Renzo Martens for the purpose of effecting social change.

This exhibition features sculptural portraits or representations of art-market figures such as the collector. Each one is moulded from clay and then reproduced in Belgian chocolate through multiple technologies, including 3D scanning and printing. Profits generated from the sale of these works are directed back to the artists, improving their living conditions and helping redressing global economic inequalities.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Basil Beattie, When Now Becomes Then: Three Decades

Basil Beattie, When Now Becomes Then: Three Decades

  • 20 February — 12 June 2016 *on now

This exhibition surveys the British, Teesside-born painter Basil Beattie’s practice from the mid-1980s to today and is an opportunity to discover connections between his past and more recent production. Beattie is notable for his personal take on Western pictorial traditions, particularly Abstract Expressionism. Prominent themes of his works include the inscription of naïve motifs within a grid structure as well as references to architecture through evocations of ziggurats, doors, steps, and tunnels.

Beattie’s output is non-representational, but it has a distinct existential character. As he puts it, ‘the works speak of human qualities of being - emotional and psychological - with metaphorical signs playing a part in them’. The gestural brush strokes and bold fields of colour demonstrate a sensuous, bodily approach to paint. The symbols connect inner feelings with lived experience, suggesting a spiritual engagement with the world.

Suitable for

  • Any age
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.

mima - Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Centre Square






general info

01642 931232

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.