Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

A photograph of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery at twilight
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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) first opened in 1885. It is housed in a Grade II* listed city centre landmark building. There are over 40 galleries to explore that display art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography.
Galleries to Visit

The art gallery is famous for its Pre-Raphaelite paintings, which are part of the largest public Pre-Raphaelite collection in the world.

A new gallery has recently opened at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery that tells the fascinating story of the Staffordshire Hoard.

The Birmingham History collections feature prominently in the 'Birmingham: its people, its history' gallery, which covers the majority of the 3rd floor.

You can also see art and objects spanning seven centuries of European and World history and culture. This includes Greeks & Romans and Ancient Egypt.
Exhibitions

In addition to the permanent galleries there is a diverse exhibition programme that offers a series of changing exhibitions throughout the year.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Monday - Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10.30am - 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am - 5pm

Closed 24, 25, 26 December. Open New Year’s Day 11am - 4pm.

Admission charges

Entrance to the Museum & Art Gallery is FREE.
Some exhibitions charge an admission fee.

Getting there

By Road
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is located within Chamberlain square in the City Centre of Birmingham. The closest car park is Town Hall Car Park (charges apply) which is 5 minutes walk from the museum. For google maps and Sat Nav use postcode B5 4AF.

By Bus
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is located within Chamberlain square in the City Centre of Birmingham and within short walking distance of Colemore Row where a number of city centre buses terminate. The closest bus stop to the museum is on Edmund street for buses 9, 10, 27, 23, 23A, 24, 29, 29A, 82, 83, 87, 89, 120, 127, 128.

By Rail
The nearest train station is Snow Hill station (5 mins walk). Turn right upon leaving Snow Hill Station onto Colemore Row. Walk down Colemore Row until you arrive at Victoria Square. Turn right at the end of the Council House building and the main entrance to the museum will be on your right hand side.

This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.

There are over 500,000 objects in Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery's collection. Our collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and drawings draws visitors from around the world. Our permanent displays include fine art from the Renaissance to the present, topographical views of Birmingham, metalwork, ceramics and glass, Egypt and the ancient world, world cultures, the history of Birmingham's Bull Ring, social history and wooden artefacts. If you want to see a particular object, check beforehand to find out if it is on display. You can also visit our stores, where you can see a wide range of objects including vintage cars and industrial objects - just check our website for dates of stores open days and tours.

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Personalities, Music, Fine Art, Design, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
  • Pre-Raphaelites
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • William Holman Hunt
  • John Everett Millais
  • Ford Madox Brown
  • Edward Burne Jones
  • Birmingham School
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Renaissance art
  • Baroque art
  • Victorian art
  • Modern art
  • Metalwork
  • Coins and medals
  • Chinese ceramics
  • Ceramics
  • Glass
  • Egypt
  • Sultanganj Buddha
  • World cultures
  • Ancient World
  • Archaeology
  • Birmingham history
  • Social history
  • Pinto collection of wooden objects
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Wendy Ramshaw’s Room of Dreams

  • 23 May 2015 — 22 May 2016 *on now

Wendy Ramshaw (born 1939) is one of Britain’s most accomplished artist jewellers, and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is delighted to unveil what is widely regarded to be her masterwork, the Room of Dreams. This installation is made up of many parts, from small jewels in frames to large freestanding furniture.

As Wendy Ramshaw has said: “The dream is the room and every one of its individual contents is in some sense a part of a dream. A white wall is covered with frames, each of which contains a piece of jewellery, each inspired by a dream or dream-like situation…a series of stories and images waiting to be considered and discovered…. Room of Dreams has brought into existence so many imagined objects, gathering together so many thoughts in one place, ‘the room’. It has fulfilled and completed a dream for me.”

The jewellery is transformed from precious objects into vehicles for storytelling and imagination. Stories touched upon include Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, The Snow Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, Bluebeard, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the legend of the ballerina Marie Taglioni who danced to save her jewels from a highwayman.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/wendy-ramshaw-s-room-of-dreams

Enchanted Dreams: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of Edward Robert Hughes

  • 17 October 2015 — 14 February 2016 *on now

Birmingham Museums Trust is world famous for its collection of works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their followers. This exhibition will reveal a fascinating but lesser known Pre-Raphaelite artist: Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914), who painted Birmingham Museums’ most popular watercolour Night with her Train of Stars (1912).

Nephew of the painter Arthur Hughes, model to Dante Gabriel Rossetti and studio assistant to Holman Hunt, ER Hughes lived and worked at the heart of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. The watercolours he exhibited in London just before the First World War – such as the fairy vision of Midsummer Eve (1908) – are among the most familiar and most often reproduced images in British art. Yet surprisingly Hughes himself has often been overlooked and his name is little known.

Enchanted Dreams will be the first exhibition ever dedicated to Hughes and his work. It will bring together paintings, drawings and watercolours from public and private collections in the UK and overseas, many of them unseen in the hundred years since the artist’s death. The exhibition will feature Hughes’s delightful child portraiture and exquisite chalk drawings as well as the magical late ‘blue pictures’ such as Night with her Train of Stars which have become famous and loved worldwide.

Suitable for

Admission

£7.00 (Adult)

Concession: £6.00
Child (3-15 years): £3.00
Child (under 3): FREE
Family: £17.00

Website

http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/enchanted-dreams-the-pre-raphaelite-art-of-edward-robert-hughes

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in 130 Years

  • 26 October 2015 — 1 September 2016 *on now

Find out about the story of the Museum & Art Gallery in a special anniversary exhibition.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is celebrating its 130th birthday. Opened on 28 November 1885 by the future King Edward VII, it was established with the aim of inspiring creativity and learning amongst the people of Birmingham.

This new exhibition traces the history of the Museum & Art Gallery, built by the people of Birmingham for the people of Birmingham. From Japanese armour and a Canadian totem pole, to beautiful metalwork and fascinating modern art, explore some of the treasures from the city's vast and diverse collection.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/bmag-130

New Art West Midlands

  • 12 February — 15 May 2016 *on now

Returning for a fourth year, New Art West Midlands presents intriguing work by artists who have recently graduated from the region’s university art schools.

Highlights include Laura Haycock’s extraordinary self-portraits in which she reclines, nude, in the style of Venus - a reference to Velasquez’s 17th-century oil paintings and Jakki Carey’s painterly video work, Ís, capturing a glacial lake in Iceland in what appears to be a direct warning from nature about climate change.

Website

http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/new-art-west-midlands-4301991f-1e62-427a-a694-29cea355bb05

Turning to See: From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud

  • 28 May — 4 September 2016

Acquired for the nation in 2014, Sir Anthony van Dyck’s last self-portrait takes centre stage in this striking exhibition exploring the concepts of physical and metaphorical turning in portraiture.

This is the first ever exhibition curated by West Midlands born and internationally renowned artist, John Stezaker, who takes Van Dyck’s dramatic turned pose as his starting point.

Showcasing major loans from the National Portrait Gallery alongside highlights from Birmingham’s collection, the display will create a spectacle of turning in the gallery and will mirror the way the viewer moves around the space.

From Rembrandt and Rossetti to Picasso and Bomberg, 'Turning to See' is filled with celebrated names from art history. There’s also the chance to view fragile works on paper not normally on display, such as Burne-Jones’ sketches for the Pygmalion series from Birmingham’s collection.

Website

http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/turning-to-see-from-van-dyck-to-lucian-freud-curated-by-john-stezaker

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.

Culture Club

http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/2004/general/extras/cultureClub.pdf

Join Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery's club for children and families which encourages you to enjoy the exhibitions, take part in lively events and join in with exciting activities. Members receive a regular newsletter about events, a passport to record museum visits and information about competitions, amongst other things.

How to obtain

It is free to join Culture Club. Fill in the online form and post it off. Call Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on 0121 3032834 for more information about the gallery's events.

Learning about Landscapes

http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/kids/landscape.htm

Have you ever noticed that artists use special tricks to make their pictures look like they are going back into the distance? Explore some of their tricks or have a go at creating your own landscapes.

Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource

http://www.preraphaelites.org

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery received funding from JISC to digitise the Pre-Raphaelite collection and make it accessible online for the education community. The resulting Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource provides full record information and allows users to examine images in great detail. You can browse the online collection, make simple searches or interrogate the collection data using filtering tools. The ability to filter the collection in this way should be particularly useful for study and research. You can also interact with the online collection by creating your own personal collections of images and by discussing the works with the online community.

Getting there

By Road
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is located within Chamberlain square in the City Centre of Birmingham. The closest car park is Town Hall Car Park (charges apply) which is 5 minutes walk from the museum. For google maps and Sat Nav use postcode B5 4AF.

By Bus
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is located within Chamberlain square in the City Centre of Birmingham and within short walking distance of Colemore Row where a number of city centre buses terminate. The closest bus stop to the museum is on Edmund street for buses 9, 10, 27, 23, 23A, 24, 29, 29A, 82, 83, 87, 89, 120, 127, 128.

By Rail
The nearest train station is Snow Hill station (5 mins walk). Turn right upon leaving Snow Hill Station onto Colemore Row. Walk down Colemore Row until you arrive at Victoria Square. Turn right at the end of the Council House building and the main entrance to the museum will be on your right hand side.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
Birmingham
West Midlands
B3 3DH
England

Website

www.bmag.org.uk

Preraphaelite Online Resource

www.preraphaelites.org

Resources for Teachers, Parents and Kids

www.schoolsliaison.org.uk

Online Collections

www.bmagic.org.uk

E-mail

BMAG.Enquiries@birminghammuseums.org.uk

Picture Library

picture.library@birminghammuseums.org.uk

Telephone

0121 348 8000

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.
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