Last Updated August 28, 2018

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is a world class museum in the heart of Birmingham city centre. The museum houses one of the three great civic collections of the UK. Like Liverpool and Glasgow, the city's great industrial and trading wealth in the 19th and 20 centuries enabled it to amass a collection on international significance.

The Museum and Art Gallery holds Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the Staffordshire Hoard – the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found in the UK.

Birmingham Museums Trust also holds the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art anywhere in the world, numbering over 3000 paintings, drawings, prints and examples of decorative art and design. The Pre-Raphaelite galleries bring together highlights from this extraordinary collection to tell the story of the Brotherhood, and their revolutionary contribution to British art.

The seven young friends who formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 changed the face of British art for ever. Led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, they rebelled against conservatism in Victorian painting. Instead, they admired the simplicity and clarity of medieval Italian art before Raphael (1483-1520), giving them their name ‘Pre-Raphaelites’.

In early 2018 the museum has been running an exhibition of around 50 photographs by Vanley Burke. Burke was born in Jamaica and arrived in Birmingham in 1965 aged 15. Here he began photographing the lives and experiences of the African Caribbean community. His work has been described as the greatest photographic document of Caribbean people in post-war Britain.

The photographs on display are part of a series of 100 works known as ‘Rivers of Birminam’. These were acquired for the people of Birmingham as part of the Collecting Birmingham project, run by Birmingham Museums Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Local communities were consulted on what items should be added to Birmingham’s collection to represent them and their lives.

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