Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

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Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA.jpg

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, or mima, is a contemporary art gallery based in the centre of Middlesbrough, England. The gallery was formally launched on Sunday 27 January 2007. It is currently run in a partnership with Teesside University.[1]

History and Estates[edit]

The gallery's opening marked the completion of an accumulative journey for the art collection of post-industrial Middlesbrough. The early artistic heritage of a town as young as Middlesbrough rested largely on the success of the Linthorpe Art Pottery (1879–1889), co-launched by Christopher Dresser out of the Sun Brickworks that also built the suburb of Linthorpe. A School of Art opened alongside the Mechanics' Institute in the old town's Durham Street, in 1870, and by the 1950s that, too, had relocated to Linthorpe. The region's cultural profile was further amply boosted by the Cleveland International Drawing Biennale, up until that competition's extinction in the 1990s.

A spot for the town's first art gallery was granted by father of the Mayor, Sir Arthur Dorman, as early as 1904. This was on Linthorpe Road opposite, and conceived in the same spate of events as, what was to become the Dorman Museum outside Albert Park. Funding shortfalls amid the onset of war, however, ensured that only a rest garden was eventually sited there. In the meantime, from 1927, the Carnegie library and Grange Road Methodist Church housed the collection of paintings. Any permanent provision for the pieces did not materialise, however, until 1957, with the purchase by the Council of a former doctor's surgery on Linthorpe Road. It was not until 2003 that this building was vacated.

Cleveland Gallery

The former Cleveland Crafts Centre, on Gilkes Street, catered for a collection of twentieth-century British studio ceramics, and artist-made jewellery dating from the 1970s onwards. The Cleveland Crafts Centre was closed as an exhibition venue in January 2003, and thereafter operated as the mima offices whilst the new gallery was being constructed. Its sister institution that lasted until 1999, the Cleveland Gallery, resided nearby in the unused school buildings on Victoria Road. They are today home to the University of Teesside's graduate incubation studios in aid of new business start-ups.

Following the closure in January 2003 of the two surviving galleries, construction of the present accommodation comprising the gallery spaces, education suite, auditorium, café-bar, shop, roof terrace, collection stores and conservation studio commenced in 2004. The centre was designed by Erick van Egeraat Associated Architect. Whilst construction was underway, mima programmed a series of offsite exhibitions and events including such artists as John Harrison and Paul Wood, Susan Pietzsch, Yuka Oyama, Graham Dolphin, Chicks on Speed, Martin Creed, Oliver Zwink and Mah Rana.

mima's founding director was Godfrey Worsdale, who left in 2008 to become director of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.[2] He was succeeded by Kate Brindley, previously director of Museums and Galleries at Bristol City Council[3] The current director is Alistair Hudson, previously Deputy Director at Grizedale Arts, who took the role in 2014.[4]

mima has participated in the Tate’s program Artist Rooms, featuring exhibitions by Gerhard Richter and Jannis Kounellis in the galleries. More recently Louise Bourgeois was exhibited as part of this project in 2014.[5][6]

On 21 and 22 November 2009, the cast of the BBC motoring programme Top GearJeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – held an exhibition of automotive art at mima, which featured in the 5th episode of the 14th series of the show.[7]


mima's collections contains works by Frank Auerbach, Ben Nicholson, Stanley Spencer, Elizabeth Blackadder, Ken Currie, Gwen John, Dame Elisabeth Frink, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Howson, David Bomberg, L.S. Lowry, Anne Redpath, Paula Rego, Sir Jacob Epstein, David Hockney, Jeremy Deller, Panayiotis Kalorkoti and Tracey Emin, 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.

mima's collection strengths are shown through the beautiful jewellery, ceramics and drawings they have to offer. Jewellery Workshops are available to give the public the chance to work with mima artist Jackie Steven and experiment with a range of materials and techniques to create beautiful and bespoke jewellery inspired by mima's stunning collection.


  1. ^ "Mima to transfer from council to Teesside University". The Museum Association. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Baltic's latest director – the Guardian
  3. ^ New director appointed at mima – the Gazette
  4. ^ "New Director for mima is announced". Teesside University. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "About mima". mima (official0. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "ARTIST ROOMS Louise Bourgeois – Middlesbrough". The Tate. 
  7. ^ McKenzie, Sandy (19 November 2009). "Top Gear motors into Middlesbrough". Evening Gazette. Retrieved 19 November 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°34′28″N 1°13′58″W / 54.5745°N 1.2327°W / 54.5745; -1.2327