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Events for Members

Barber Association Look Club

Everything that’s good about a book club – without the homework! Our new monthly Barber Association Look Club is a chance to visit the galleries, look at selected works from our collection in depth, then discuss the works with fellow members and Barber staff over tea, coffee and biscuits.

This season, as our galleries are currently closed to enable essential building improvements, we’re taking Look Club on the road – visiting other collections, galleries and museums on campus and in the region. Here, we’ll be looking at art and design, exhibitions as well as collections, and enjoying guided tours and talks in addition to discussing works of art.

Please note: All the events below have number limits and may well be popular – so, members only please, and book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment!

Looking forward to seeing you in a nearby collection or gallery soon!
Barber Institute - Patrons Event. 27th October 2015.
Picture by Simon Hadley.
07774 193699

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday 7 February | 1.15 – 3.30pm | Cadbury Research Library and the Work of Lawrence Alma-Tadema

AT E2686 Pauline in Pompeii, Cadbury Research Library

The Cadbury Research Library is the University of Birmingham’s Aladdin’s Cave of an archive – a treasure trove of fascinating letters and documents, rare books and literary material – and even some caches of artworks on paper.

Join David Pulford, Librarian – Barber Fine Art Library (Special Collections) for an introduction to the CRL and to Lawrence Alma-Tadema, subject of our Look Club discussion – and the inspiration for the design of Ridley Scott’s ‘swords and sandals’ blockbuster film, Gladiator.

Dutch artist Alma-Tadema pursued a lifelong fascination with classical subjects, studying and drawing artefacts in the British Museum and other European institutions. These informed his own paintings and drawings – typically, classical scenes featuring languorous and beautiful figures against lavish marble settings.

We’ll be looking at a selection of fascinating works by Alma-Tadema and an example of one of the sources – also held in the CRL collection – that he might have used for inspiration.

Then it’s back to the Barber for our customary tea, coffee and posh biscuits!


1.10pm – gather in the Barber entrance foyer

1.20pm – walk to the Muirhead Tower, home to the Cadbury Research Library (N.B. entrance to the Muirhead Tower is via steps or lift)

1.30pm – Introduction to the CRL and to Lawrence Alma Tadema plus Look Club discussion.

c.2.30pm – return to the Barber for coffee, tea and posh biscuits.

Please note: This session incurs a £3 charge for refreshments

Thursday 21 March | 11.15am – 3pm | Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum: Exhibition visit & talk: Laura Knight | I Paint Today

A brunette woman looks at a landscape painting

Laura Knight (1877 – 1970) is one of the most respected and influential British artists of the 20th century. With Alfred Munnings and Lamorna Birch, and fellow painter and husband Harold, Knight established the artistic community known as the Newlyn School. She is also known for her studio scenes and views of London, and as a war artist in the second world war.

In 1936, Laura Knight became the first woman since its foundation elected to full membership of the Royal Academy, and her talent and reputation contributed strongly to the growing recognition of women artists.

In this Look Club special, we’re making a happy return to Worcester Art Gallery to enjoy the hit show – as well a special talk by author Heather Whatley on Laura Knight, her life and work, arranged exclusively for Look Club members!


11.15am: Arrival, main entrance, Worcester Art Gallery.

11.30am: Introductory talk with author Heather Whatley

12.30pm: Lunch

1.30pm: Exhibition visit - self-guided

  • £14 per member – includes exhibition admission and talk
  • Please make your own way to Worcester. The museum is a two-minute walk from Worcester Foregate Street station – easily reachable from University and New Street stations – and 15 minutes walk from Shrub Hill station
  • More travel info here

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