Robert Wenley joined the Barber Institute in May 2010 from Glasgow Museums, where he was the Curator of European Art, 1600-1800 and based at the Burrell Collection from 2003 until 2010.
Robert studied History (BA Hons) at Durham University and Gallery Studies (M. Litt.) at the University of St Andrews. This was followed by twelve years in the curatorial section of the Wallace Collection, London. There he specialised in French bronzes of the 16th to 18th centuries, co-founding the international French Bronze Study Group in 2000. His French Bronzes in the Wallace Collection was published in 2002, and he also contributed an essay and entries to the catalogue of the landmark exhibition, Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution (Louvre, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, 2008/9). He was Reviews Editor for the Sculpture Journal from 2000 to 2010 and then a member of the Editorial Board until 2015.
His other specialist areas of interest are Dutch and Flemish 17th-century paintings, and the history of collecting, particularly in Britain, and he has published several articles on these subjects in academic journals. Robert is Chair of Birmingham’s Public Picture Gallery Fund (founded 1871) and a member of the National Gallery, London’s Advisory Committee for Research on European Paintings.
Here at the Barber, Robert has curated numerous exhibitions and displays, including Carved, Cast and Modelled: Sculpture from the Barber Collection (2011), Portrait of a Lady: The Life and Passions of Lady Barber (2012/13), Close to the Heart: 17th to 19th-century Portrait Miniatures from UK Private Collections(2013), Flinck in Focus (2015/16), Chance, Order, Change: Abstract Paintings 1939-89 (2016) and Pride and Persecution: Jan Steen’s Old Testament Scenes (2017/18).