- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Established 1885 Location Chamberlain Square, Birmingham Visitor figures 856,000 Website http://www.bmag.org.uk
Entrance to the Museum and Art Gallery is free, but some major exhibitions in the Gas Hall incur an entrance fee. It has a collection of international importance covering fine art, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, archaeology, ethnography, local history and industrial history.
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.”  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. Joseph Nettlefold donated twenty-five pictures by David Cox to Birmingham Art Gallery on the condition it opened on Sundays.
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.
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: £800,000) 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. 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.
Seven galleries had to be rebuilt after being bombed in 1940. Immediately after World War II "Mighty Mary" Woodall 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.
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 is operated by the independent Thinktank Trust.
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'. 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 June 26th to 17th October 2010. The Waterhall is now available for venue hire. It was booked by the Art of Ideas for The Witching Hour exhibition November 11th to November 14th 2010. This is the last time the Waterhall was used as an exhibition space.
BM&AG is managed by Birmingham City Council.
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:
- Constable, John - 2 paintings;
- Cox, David - 11 paintings;
- Gainsborough, Thomas - 3 paintings;
- Hogarth, William - 2 paintings;
- Landseer, Sir Edwin - 1 painting;
- Lely, Peter - 2 painting;
- Turner, J M W - 1 painting;
- Bacon, Francis - 1 painting;
- Spencer, Stanley - 3 paintings;
- Lanyon, Peter - 1 painting; 
- Heron, Patrick - 1 painting;
- Jones, Allen - 1 painting; 
- Zoffany, Johan - 1 painting;
- Batoni, Pompeo - 1 painting;
- Bellini, Giovanni - 1 painting;
- Botticelli, Sandro - 1 painting;
- Canaletto, (Giovanni Antonio Canal) - 2 paintings; 
- Crespi, Giuseppe - 1 painting;
- Dolci, Carlo - 1 painting;
- il Garofalo, Benvenuto Tisio - 1 painting;
- Gentileschi, Orazio - 1 painting;
- Guardi, Francesco - 1 painting;
- Guercino, (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) - 1 painting;
- Martini, Simone - 1 painting;
- Reni, Guido - 1 painting;
- Rosa, Salvator - 1 painting;
- Schiavone, Andrea - 1 painting;
- Strozzi, Bernardo - 1 painting;
- Murillo, Bartolomé-Esteban - 1 painting.
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.
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. The giant logo from the top of the tower is now in the collection of the Museum.
BM&AG also has many branch museums (some closed in the Winter) in historic buildings:
- Aston Hall, in Aston, built 1618 - 1635
- Blakesley Hall, in Yardley, a Tudor house
- Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Hockley (open all year)
- Sarehole Mill, in Hall Green, a water mill
- Soho House, in Handsworth, home of Matthew Boulton with exhibitions on the Lunar Society
- Weoley Castle (ruins), in Weoley Castle
The Museum of Science and Industry, on Newhall Street from 1951–1997, has now closed. Many exhibits were moved to Thinktank, Birmingham science museum, which is operated by the independent Thinktank Trust.
The Museums Collections Centre in Nechells has brought together 80 per cent of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s stored collections under one roof. The 1.5-hectare (3.7-acre) site, close to Duddeston Station, holds hundreds of thousands of objects. At the moment the Museums Collection Centre is only open to the public on open days or by appointment.
- ^ "Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - Annual Review 2009 / 10". Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. 2010. p. 2. http://www.bmag.org.uk/uploads/fck/file/Annual%20Review%202009-10.pdf. Retrieved 2010-11-20.
- ^ Kelly & Kelly (1977), p. 77
- ^ 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).
- ^ Barbara M. D. Smith, ‘Nettlefold, Joseph Henry (1827–1881)’, rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
- ^ W. J. Harrison, ‘Everitt, Allen Edward (1824–1882)’, rev. Stephen Wildman, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
- ^ "Death of Sir Richard Tangye". New York Times. 1906-10-15. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9B05E5DC1631E733A25756C1A9669D946797D6CF. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- ^ Details from listed building database (217695) . Images of England. English Heritage.
- ^ Kenneth Garlick, ‘Woodall, Mary (1901–1988)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1929P45
- ^ http://www.bmagprints.org.uk/image/407330/john-constable-harwich-lighthouse
- ^ http://www.bmagprints.org.uk/search/keywords/cox/page/1/view/18
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/results?s=+gainsborough
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1959P49
- ^ http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Jones_Allen-3rd_Big_Bus_Red
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1960P44
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1950P23
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1980P121
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1977P227
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1959P31
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1978P174
- ^ http://www.bmagprints.org.uk/search/keywords/canaletto
- ^ http://www.bmagic.org.uk/objects/1947P5
- ^ BBC NEWS | England | West Midlands | Demolition of HP factory begins
- All About Victoria Square, Joe Holyoak, The Victorian Society Birmingham Group, ISBN 0-901657-14-X
- By the Gains of Industry - Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery 1885-1985, Stuart Davies, ISBN 0-7093-0131-6
- Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield, George T. Noszlopy, edited Jeremy Beach, 1998, ISBN 0-85323-692-5
- Details from listed building database (217695) . Images of England. English Heritage.
- John Alfred Langford. The Birmingham Free Libraries, the Shakespere Memorial Library, and the Art Gallery (Hall & English, 1871).
- BM&AG website
- Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource Over 2,000 Pre-Raphaelite images
- BM&AG collection online
- Selection of BM&AG's Pinto Collection of Treen
- Paintings from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on VADS
Buildings and structures in Birmingham, England Highrise
(in height order)
- 1–7 Constitution Hill
- 17 & 19 Newhall Street
- Assay Office
- Aston Hall
- Barber Institute of Fine Arts
- Baskerville House
- Blakesley Hall
- Central Library
- St. Chad's Cathedral
- Council House
- Curzon Street station
- Great Western Arcade
- Island House
- St Martin in the Bull Ring
- Methodist Central Hall
- Millennium Point
- Old Crown
- Perry Bridge
- St. Philip's Cathedral
- Pebble Mill Studios
- Proof House
- Sarehole Mill
- Symphony Hall
- Town Hall
- Victoria Law Courts
Major railway stations Hospitals Major hotels
- Hyatt Regency
- Radisson Blu
Major complexes Sports venues
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