Packing a Punch: British Graphic Satire and Caricature

Caricature, thought to have originated in Italy in the late 16th century, developed out of artists exaggerating their subjects’ physical features for expressive or comical effect. It arrived in England in the 1700s, and by the end of the century, had transformed in its use from mere lampoonery into satire and the comic cartoon. This … Read more

Cats and other Creature Companions

Cats and dogs bring out the positive and playful sides of their human companions and the artists who depict them. This display, which explores companion animals within domestic and rural settings, considers what borders are crossed to allow some animals into human lives, activities and domestic spaces – and what meanings are then bestowed upon … Read more

Sumptuous portrait is autumn visitor to the Barber

This striking painting by one of the 18th century’s leading portraitists, Allan Ramsay, is a new face greeting visitors to the Barber this autumn. Ramsay’s portrait of Rosamund Sargent, painted in 1749, is on loan from Bath’s Holburne Museum, and is exchange partner for the Barber’s iconic The Blue Bower by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The Ramsay … Read more

Visiting the Barber

Self-guided visits Visiting the unique Barber galleries to see artworks and objects in person can be an inspiring, stimulating and memorable experience. Currently, we are welcoming self-guided visits to our galleries for groups of secondary-school age, KS3 and above. These visits include a welcome introduction from a member of the Barber team. Self-guided visits are … Read more

Meet the artwork

Online Sessions During the Covid-19 lockdowns, we delivered our Barber Schools pilot project. During this pilot, we designed and delivered live online workshops to support at-home learners. These workshops are now available as part of our 2021-22 Barber Schools offer. Allowing us to bring our collection to you, join us for a live online session … Read more

Resources for Teachers

Online Resources You and your pupils can discover our collection through our online Barber Schools resources, which can be used with both Primary and Secondary school pupils (KS1-5). The Barber’s Learning and Engagement team have designed these bespoke resources which offer opportunities to discover more about artworks in our collection through object-based learning and creative … Read more

Degas, De’Anne and Miss La La

Degas, De’Anne & Miss La La: A live desktop performance by De’Anne Crooks This event took place on Wednesday 5 May 2021, 6 – 6.45pm Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando (1879) is a drawing by Edgar Degas of Miss La La, an acrobat of mixed European and African parentage. Exoticised at the time … Read more

Social Prescribing

A research project As part of the Barber Health project, research is taking place into the social prescribing landscape in Birmingham. Is there a place for the Barber here – and if there is, what does it look like, can we fill the gap, and how can we make it sustainable? Any updates on this … Read more

Our Nurse in Residence

Meet Jane Nicol The project’s inaugural Nurse in Residence is Jane Nicol, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s School of Nursing and a registered nurse who has specialised in palliative and end of life care.  Jane will be looking at the Barber’s collection through her unique lens and developing ways of using the Barber’s … Read more

Making a Mark

Making a Mark Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Royal Collection ‘Drawing is the father of painting…and the portal to many of the arts’  Karel van Mander, 1604. Exquisite and intriguing 16th- and 17th-century drawings by Dutch and Flemish artists, including Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, feature in Making a Mark, the Barber’s first physical … Read more

About Barber Health

Barber Health asks: how can we can best support recovery? Thanks to a major grant of £40,000 from the Art Fund’s Respond & Reimagine scheme, the Barber is delivering our health and wellbeing initiative throughout 2021. The project builds on our previous experience of working in this area, but takes it to new levels and … Read more

Drawn to Antiquity

Drawn to Antiquity Works on Paper from the Lawrence Alma-Tadema Collection Print Bay Display The artist whose work inspired the design for Ridley Scott’s Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator comes under the spotlight in this fascinating display. Drawn to Antiquity features twelve drawings from the Lawrence Alma-Tadema Collection at the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Research Library (Special … Read more

The First Dictators

Politics, Propaganda and the Collapse of the Roman Republic If you thought fake news, personal propaganda – and political strongmen shifting democracies toward dictatorship – were modern phenomena, then this exhibition invites you to think again. The First Dictators explores how coins were used for propaganda purposes during the dying days of the Roman Republic … Read more

The Viewer and the Viewed

‘In 18th-century Britain, landscape – even the picturesque landscape – was a mode of political discourse.’ Ann Bermingham, 2002 The Viewer and the Viewed features eleven works on paper from the Barber’s collection by artists such as Gainsborough, Turner and David Cox, and explores these breathtaking landscapes from a socio-political perspective. Between the mid-eighteenth and … Read more

Tuesday Talks Series Four

Series four Episode 6: 27 July The First Dictators: Politics, Propaganda and the Collapse of the Roman Republic, with Maria Vrij, Coin Curator Listen below or read the transcript to view clearer images. Find out more about The First Dictators, open until 10 July 2022. . Episode 5: 13 July The Viewer and the Viewed, … Read more

Reclaiming the Foxglove

Reclaiming the Foxglove, Cultivating Narratives A joint project between the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the College of Medical and Dental Sciences (MDS) We welcome students and staff of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences to join the Barber and MDS to explore the forgotten tales and healing of herbalism through a series … Read more

Sound Explorers

Online / Outdoors What might you discover if you use your ears instead of your eyes to find out about the natural world? Explore, listen and record sounds of nature in your local area with sound artists Emma Margetson and Nikki Sheth. Follow the three activities below and become Sound Explorers: Let’s go on a … Read more

Fabulous Fantasy Storytelling with CYRO

Fabulous Fantasy Storytelling with CYRO Saturday 29 May, 10 – 11am Free; online via Zoom; for families Families are invited to join Cyro from home and hear heart-warming fables for everyone. Inspired by fairytale objects in the Barber’s collection, show up for this playful online celebration of being yourself during Pride month. The Barber team … Read more

Campus of Curiosity: Spring Family Festival

Campus of Curiosity: Spring Family Festival Friday 2 April – Sunday 18 April 2021. Free; online. Join the Barber, the Lapworth Museum of Geology, and Barber Concerts for a free online family festival full of campus curiosities as we celebrate nature and springtime together. Let your imagination soar above the clouds in our poetry workshop with writer Sipho Ndlovu … Read more

Recent acquisitions on show as gallery reopens

NEW faces will greet visitors to the Barber Institute when the galleries reopen later this month, as two recently acquired paintings go on display for the first time. Museums are permitted to open from 17 May under step 3 of the English government’s roadmap out of lockdown, and the Barber’s collection and displays will be … Read more

Tuesday Talks Series Two

Series two Episode 16: 15 December Cosimo Rosselli: the Nativity in Italian Renaissance Painting, with Jennifer Young, Volunteer Gallery Guide. Listen or read the transcript: . Episode 15: 8 December A Venerable Mystery: Strozzi’s Head of an Old Woman, with Becca Randle, Learning and Engagement Coordinator. Listen or read the transcript: . Episode 14: 1 … Read more

Barber Concerts Artistic Programming and Partners

About The Barber Institute is home to Europe’s finest art deco concert hall, and boasts a chamber music and recital series dating back to 1945. The internationally acclaimed Barber Evening Concerts are presented alongside regular free Friday lunchtime concerts. We also present the Barber Opera and a variety of family and learning concerts. We work with … Read more

UoBe Festival

UoBe Festival 2021 A new festival created with students for students at the University of Birmingham that took place from 25 to 29 January 2021. The Barber’s UoBe Festival events focused on wellbeing, relaxation, and contemplation. Yin Yoga Monday 25 January, 5 – 6.30pm, free Take some time to connect with your breath and body. … Read more

Barber Home: Spring Programme

Barber Home: spring programme All events are free; online via Zoom. Click the event title to find full event information and to book. Here Comes the Sun: an Experimental Dance Workshop with Artist Performer Kaajel Patel Wednesday 24 March, 7 – 8:30pm; for students at the University of Birmingham Booking required; learn more about Here … Read more

Barber Health

Barber Health: Our Collection – Your Wellbeing Major health and art project set for central role at the Barber. The Barber is hosting its own nurse in residence as part of Barber Health, a pioneering scheme placing health and wellbeing at the heart of our engagement work. Using the gallery and its collection to address … Read more

Ikegobo to the Iyoba (Hand Altar to the Queen Mother)

Ikegobo to the Iyoba (Hand Altar to the Queen Mother) Unrecorded Edo Artist from the Royal Artisan Guilds of Benin The Kingdom of Benin, Edo state, (modern day) southern Nigeria, about late 18th/early 19th century Brass 21.3 x 26.7 cm diameter at base Purchased 1948 (No.48.1) This Ikegobo (altarpiece) comes from the Kingdom of Benin, … Read more

Sights of Wonder resources

Exhibition Resources Sights of Wonder is an online exhibition of photographs by Francis Bedford (1815-1894) taken during a royal tour to the Eastern Mediterranean in 1862. Curated by Art History and Curating MA students at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Royal Collection Trust and the Barber Institute, the exhibition launched on 12 June … Read more