Birmingham: Museum & Art Gallery

Last Saturday, Ad and I spent an afternoon wandering around Birmingham's Museum and Art Gallery. I've lived in Birmingham, UK for 21 years and have never been to this incredible treasure trove of art, ceramics and artefacts. It really shows that we don't appreciate what's on our doorsteps enough. With a central location and free entry I don't have any excuse, so with an afternoon off, we braved the central Birmingham Bullring crowds to get ourselves a culture fix.

A photo posted by Clo Tomalin (@helloimclouk) on

The museum itself was rather quiet for a Saturday afternoon; with couples, small groups and tourists having guided tours of the paintings. Everything is displayed within different rooms and galleries, there are over 40 in the grade 2 listed central Birmingham building. Whilst the museum features many European, World history and cultural pieces, it also dedicates a great deal of its space to localised history, development and the people of the UK's second city.

In the Modern Art Gallery

Birmingham's Museum and Art Gallery is widely known for its collection of Pre-Raphaelite  paintings which are housed in the 'Round Room' (See picture below) but also house Greek, Roman and Ancient Egypt sections which make the museum a rich hub of information for all the family. There's something for everyone, at any age.

Round Room Ceiling 

The Round Room is a beautifully light and airy space, filled with Pre-Raphaelite era donated, loaned or bought paintings, sitting three high on the circular walls. There are also viewing benches around the room to perch on, observe paintings further and sketch at, it's nice to take a load off. Not enough galleries offer this luxury.

There is currently a display on showcasing the development of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery since it's opening in 1885 to the present day; there is a 3D piece that makes your eyes twitch and concentrate to see the gallery rather than artefacts on slanted and pitched shapes. Showing different aspects of a gallery space, quite literally. It's a piece all about perspective. It's hard to describe, the picture below does not do it justice, you have to go see it!

In one of the galleries we came across an activity to combine paintings to create our own art using magnetic strips, safe to say neither of us are going to become great masters anytime soon!

It was really good fun to learn a little local history, whilst also learning about the wider world. We didn't cover the entire museum (40 galleries is a lot of art to get through in one afternoon) and we like to take our time to really soak it all in. We'll be back soon and I think I'll look into volunteering at the gallery too.  So with the rain closing in on Birmingham, we headed for Grand Central, It was time to go home to pop our feet up and have a nice hot cup of tea.

Ad and I at in the Modern British Art Gallery.

For more information on the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Click Here

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