Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Museum and Art Gallery (3423867837).jpg
Established 1885
Location Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, England
Collection size 500,000 objects
Visitors

856,000 (2009/10)[1]

Website Official website

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BM&AG) (grid reference SP066869) is a museum and art gallery in Birmingham, England. It has a collection of international importance covering fine art, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, archaeology, ethnography, local history and industrial history.[2]

The museum/gallery is run by Birmingham Museums Trust, the largest independent museums trust in the United Kingdom, which also runs eight other museums around the city.[3] Entrance to the Museum and Art Gallery is free, but some major exhibitions in the Gas Hall incur an entrance fee.

History[edit]

Industrial Gallery, the original part of the Art Gallery.

In 1829, the Birmingham Society of Artists created a private exhibition building in New Street, Birmingham while the historical precedent for public education around that time produced the Factory Act 1833, the first instance of Government funding for education.

The Museums Act 1845 "[empowered] boroughs with a population of 10,000 or more to raise a 1/2d for the establishment of museums."[4] In 1864, the first public exhibition room, was opened when the Society and other donors presented 64 pictures as well as the Sultanganj Buddha to Birmingham Council and these were housed in the Free Library building but, due to lack of space, the pictures had to move to Aston Hall.[5] Joseph Nettlefold bequeathed twenty-five pictures by David Cox to Birmingham Art Gallery on the condition it opened on Sundays.[6]

In June 1880, local artist Allen Edward Everitt accepted the post of honorary curator of the Free Art Gallery, a municipal institution which was the forerunner of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.[7]

Jesse Collings, Mayor of Birmingham 1878–79, was responsible for free libraries in Birmingham and was the original proponent of the Birmingham Art Gallery. A£10,000 (2010: £840,000) gift by Sir Richard and George Tangye started a new drive for an art gallery and, in 1885, following other donations and £40,000 from the council, the Prince of Wales officially opened the new gallery on 28 November 1885.[5][8] The Museum and Art Gallery occupied an extended part of the Council House above the new offices of the municipal Gas Department (which in effect subsidised the venture thus circumventing the Public Libraries Act 1850 which limited the use of public funds on the arts).The building was designed by Yeoville Thomason.[9]

Sculpture William Bloye's Allegories of Art and Industry c.1919, over the northwest door of the Feeney Gallery extension, Great Charles Street.

Until 1946, when property taxes were voted towards acquisitions, the museum relied on the generosity of private individuals.[5] John Feeney provided £50,000 to provide a further gallery.

Seven galleries had to be rebuilt after being bombed in 1940.[5] Immediately after World War II "Mighty Mary" Mary Woodall (1901–1988) was appointed keeper of art under director, Trenchard Cox. Woodall and Cox, through their links to the London art world, were able to attract exhibitions, much publicity and donations to the gallery. In 1956, Woodall replaced Cox when the latter became Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.[10]

In 1951, the Museum of Science and Industry, Birmingham was incorporated into BM&AG. In 2001, the Science Museum closed with some exhibits being transferred to Thinktank, Birmingham science museum, which was operated by the independent Thinktank Trust that has since become part of Birmingham Museums Trust.

The link bridge between the original Art Gallery and the Art Gallery Extension.

The main entrance is located in Chamberlain Square below the clock tower known locally as "Big Brum". The entrance hall memorial reads 'By the gains of Industry we promote Art'.[5] The Extension Block has entrances via the Gas Hall (Edmund Street) and Great Charles Street. Waterhall (the old gas department) has its own entrance on Edmund Street.

In October 2010, the Waterhall closed as a BM&AG gallery as a result of a £1.5m cut to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery's budget in 2010–11. The last BM&AG exhibition that took place in the Waterhall was the Steve McCurry Retrospective that ran from 26 to 17 June October 2010. The Waterhall is now available for venue hire. It was booked by the Art of Ideas for The Witching Hour exhibition 11–14 November 2010. This is the last time the Waterhall was used as an exhibition space.

BM&AG, formerly managed by Birmingham City Council, is now, with Thinktank, part of Birmingham Museums Trust.

Paintings[edit]

The Art Gallery is most noted for its extensive collections of paintings ranging from the 14th to the 21st century. They include works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the largest collection of works by Edward Burne-Jones in the world. Notable painters in oil include the following:

English School

Paintings from the Dutch School include a painting each from Jan van Goyen and Willem van de Velde the Younger.

Flemish School
French School
Impressionists
German School
Italian School
Spanish School
The Round Room including Jacob Epstein's The Archangel Lucifer (1944–45).

Antiquities[edit]

The collection of antiquities includes coins from ancient times through to the Middle Ages, artefacts from Ancient India and Central Asia, Ancient Cyprus and Ancient Egypt. There is material from Classical Greece, the Roman Empire and Latin America. There is also mediaeval material, much of which is now on display in The Birmingham History Galleries, a permanent exhibition on the third floor of the museum.

In respect of local and industrial history, the tower of the Birmingham HP Sauce factory was a famous landmark alongside the Aston Expressway which was demolished in the summer of 2007.[25] The giant logo from the top of the tower is now in the collection of the Museum.

Gallery[edit]

Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones. 
Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais
Birmingham from the Dome of St Philip's Church by Samuel Lines

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - Annual Review 2009 / 10". Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. 2010. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  2. ^ Fisher, Mark (2005). "Barber Institute of Fine Arts". Britain's Best Museums and Galleries: From the Greatest Collections to the Smallest Curiosities. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 205–207. ISBN 0-14-101960-3. 
  3. ^ "West Mids accountants appointed by largest independent museums trust". Commercial News Media. 2013-07-22. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  4. ^ Kelly & Kelly (1977), p. 77.
  5. ^ a b c d e 'Economic and Social History: Social History since 1815', A History of the County of Warwick: VII The City of Birmingham (1964), pp. 223-245. Feeney (accessed: 30 January 2008).
  6. ^ Barbara M. D. Smith, 'Nettlefold, Joseph Henry (1827–1881)', rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  7. ^ W. J. Harrison, 'Everitt, Allen Edward (1824–1882)', rev. Stephen Wildman, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  8. ^ "Death of Sir Richard Tangye". New York Times. 1906-10-15. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  9. ^ English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (217695)". Images of England. 
  10. ^ Kenneth Garlick, 'Woodall, Mary (1901–1988)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004.
  11. ^ "Oil Painting - Study of Clouds - Evening, August 31st, 1822. - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  12. ^ "Harwich Lighthouse by John Constable at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery Prints". Bmagprints.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  13. ^ "Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery". Bmagprints.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  14. ^ "Birmingham Museums and art Gallery : Search Results : Gainsborough". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  15. ^ "Oil Painting - Offshore - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ "Oil Painting - A Roman Beggar Woman - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  18. ^ "Oil Painting - Le Pont Boieldieu à Rouen, Soleil Couchant [The Pont Boieldieu at Sunset] - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  19. ^ "Oil Painting - St Tropez, France - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  20. ^ "Oil Painting - Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints and Donor - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  21. ^ "Oil Painting - The Descent of the Holy Ghost - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  22. ^ "Oil Painting - Warwick Castle, East Front from the Courtyard - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  23. ^ "Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery". Bmagprints.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  24. ^ "Oil Painting - Rest on the Flight into Egypt - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Information Centre". Bmagic.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  25. ^ "UK | England | West Midlands | Demolition of HP factory begins". BBC News. 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°28′49.08″N 1°54′13.63″W / 52.4803000°N 1.9037861°W / 52.4803000; -1.9037861