Arent van Bolten (about 1573 – 1633)

Lamp in the form of a Grotesque Bird Model: Amsterdam or Zwolle, about 1620; Cast: Northern Europe, probably about 1900 Bronze 17 cm high The model for this curious creature can be traced to a series of drawings of grotesque beasts, in the then fashionable auricular (or ‘ear-like’) style, by the Dutch designer and silversmith … Read more

The Last Roman

Emperor Justinian I (527 – 565 AD), the so-called ‘Last Roman Emperor’, rose from peasant beginnings in Serbia to become the most powerful man on Earth. Crowned Emperor of the Romans at Constantinople in 527 AD, Justinian’s reign saw a surge in the might of the Roman Empire – land in the West was reclaimed … Read more

Sir Joshua Reynolds: Artist and Collector

When the Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768, it elected Sir Joshua Reynolds – then England’s most prominent painter – as its first President. As part of a programme of events around the UK to mark 250 years of the Royal Academy, we celebrate Reynolds as artist and collector. The display brings together the four … Read more

The Artist in Art

Portraits of artists – by themselves or others – are the focus of this display from the Barber’s works on paper collection. Featuring works that span three centuries, it will include prints by Rembrandt, Cézanne and van Dyck, alongside subjects such as Picasso and Rodin. The display will explore the relationship between sitter and artist, … Read more

Working in Colour

The language of colour across four centuries of printmaking is explored in this display that complements the Barber’s main spring exhibition, ‘The Rhythm of Light’. Featuring at least six different types of printmaking and numerous colouring techniques by artists as diverse as Gillray, Turner, Max Ernst and Edward Lear, It also explores the possible functions, … Read more

Become a Member of the Barber Association

Become a Member Join our community of like-minded art- and music-lovers and gain exclusive access to our collection through a programme of special events, talks and tours. Your membership subscription will help fund vital sector training through paid internships, supporting our ambition to bring art and music to ever wider audiences. In recognition of your … Read more

Gifts & Bequests

Gifts & Bequests All gifts are gratefully received, and help us to advance Lady Barber’s vision for the study and encouragement of art and music, by developing and refining programmes that are creative, dynamic, and make a difference to our communities. If you would like to discuss making a donation, please contact Sarah Benn, Membership Officer, at association@barber.org.uk or … Read more

Learn more about the Barber Association

The Barber Association Lady Barber’s dream was to found an arts institute for the University of Birmingham – a gallery and concert hall to be used ‘in perpetuity for the study and encouragement of art and music’.  Its art collection should be ‘of that standard of quality required by the National Gallery and the Wallace … Read more

SOUNDING IMAGES

A selection of the Barber’s most iconic paintings – as you’ve never heard them before! Inspired by works in the gallery, University music students have created new electroacoustic pieces as part of the Sounding Images module. Their selection includes works by Claude, Dahl, Magritte and Auerbach – so take an audio tour of the gallery … Read more

ONLY LIGHT AND SHADOW

Francisco de Goya worked in a politically turbulent period of Spanish history, notoriously articulating his fears and observations through his masterful treatment of light and shadow in his prints. This display of examples from the Barber’s collection places five of Goya’s enigmatic works among those by other Spanish artists, such as Picasso and Miró, who … Read more

I KNOW BUT I DON’T KNOW

Matthew Pagett Imagine a net so wide it catches not just people and places but also their thoughts, feelings and histories. Imagine that net cast over campus… Our artist-in-residence, Matthew Pagett, was asked to respond to our recent exhibition about early-20th-century New York artist George Bellows – and in particular the illustrations Bellows made as … Read more

WATER LILY POND 2017

Claude Monet One of the most recognisable motifs of Impressionism – the Japanese bridge over the water lily pond in Monet’s garden at Giverny – is the subject of this spectacular painting, on loan to the gallery this summer from the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1890, Monet, a keen gardener, purchased the house at … Read more

MORE REAL THAN LIFE

19th-Century Portrait Photography The dawn of photography in the mid-19th century made portraiture accessible to a much wider public. This exhibition explores early photographic studio portraiture, including the popular carte-de-visite format. The exhibition discusses how photographic techniques, backdrops, props, costumes and poses enabled public figures – ranging from Oscar Wilde through Ellen Terry to Queen … Read more

TUMBLEWEED

Hannah Honeywill The intricately ornamented and gilded historic picture frames that surround so many of the paintings in the Barber’s galleries are the starting point for this new sculpture by Hannah Honeywill. An emerging London-based artist and recipient of prestigious Wellcome Trust Arts Award funding, Honeywill combines the exploration of the function and form of … Read more

WORKS OF MERCY

Photographs by Attilio Fiumarella A painting by the great Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio, depicting the seven corporal acts of mercy of traditional Catholicism, is the inspiration for this outstanding series of 14 dramatic images. Like his predecessor, Birmingham-based photographer Fiumarella uses real people as his models – in this case, the homeless and prostitutes from … Read more

Giovanni Bellini (about 1430 – 1516)

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness Venice, about 1460 Tempera on wood 44 x 22.9 cm Saint Jerome (died 419) was a scholar who translated the Bible into Latin.  He also retired to the wilderness and lived the secluded of a hermit.  According to legend, he removed a thorn from the paw of a lion who … Read more

Hippolyte Bellange (1800-1866)

The Entry of Bonaparte into Milan Paris, about 1822/4 Oil on canvas 44.4 x 60.3 cm Napoleon Bonaparte’s triumphal entry into Milan in May 1796 occurred during a military campaign which saw the rapid conquest of much of the Italian peninsular.  Bellangé was commissioned to provide an illustration of the event for a biography following … Read more

Domenico Beccafumi (1484 – 1551)

Reclining Nymph (Venus and Cupid) Siena, about 1519 Oil on wood 71.7 x 13.8 cm This panel formed part of the decoration of the bedchamber of Francesco Petrucci of Siena and his wife Caterina Piccolomini.  It was used as the headboard of the bed.  The figure appears to be a water nymph, but she has … Read more

Jacopo da Ponte, called Bassano (about 1510 – 1592)

The Adoration of the Magi Bassano, near Venice, the end of the 1560s Oil on canvas 94.3 x 130 cm The three kings, or Magi, approach the infant Christ with their gifts.  Despite their worldly wealth, they bow to Christ who is acclaimed as the King of Kings.  The setting in a ruined classical building … Read more

Attributed to Giovanni Baronzio (worked from 1326 – about 1362)

The Angel of the Annunciation (top) The Nativity and the Annunciation to the Shepherds (centre) The Adoration of the Magi (bottom) Rimini, second quarter of the 14th century Tempera on wood 44.3 x 20.3 cm (including frame) This devotional panel, burnt by the heat of altar candles, formed the left wing of a pair. The … Read more

Attributed to Christoph Amberger (about 1505-1561/2)

A Portrait of a Man Augsburg, Germany, about 1530/40 Oil on wood 59.8 x 50.2 cm The identity of this elderly man has been lost, though the ring on his right hand suggests that he may have been a humanist scholar.  It probably originally formed a pair, with an image of his wife to the … Read more

MONET’S VIEW

By Michele White The windswept trees in the foreground of Monet’s painting, The Church at Varengeville, were the inspiration for Michele White’s new work. Hand-crafted in silver, each layer was carefully constructed to represent the church in the background, and trees in the foreground. The glorious autumn colours were created by pausing the process of … Read more

NEW ART WEST MIDLANDS

New Work by Recent Local Graduates New Art West Midlands is a brand-new collaborative venture in partnership with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Grand Union, Birmingham, and funded by the Arts Council for England. From a bicycle wrapped in wool, through poignant photography, to a witty and entertaining animation: the best critically-engaged work by … Read more

CLOSE TO THE HEART

17th- 19th-century British Miniatures from UK Private Collections Small masterpieces of British portraiture from two celebrated UK private collections – including a tiny portrait mounted on a finger-ring, of 18th-century British actor impresario David Garrick – are displayed in this exhibition, some for the first time ever. The exhibits range in date from about 1600 … Read more

THE PRINTS AND DRAWINGS STUDY ROOM

Unfortunately we are currently unable to facilitate visits to the Prints and Drawings Study Room. The Prints and Drawings Study Room houses our fine collection of prints, drawings and watercolours, comprising more than 1,000 works and six centuries of the draughtsman’s and printmaker’s arts. There are outstanding drawings by Fra Bartolommeo, Rembrandt, Turner, Ingres, Degas … Read more

ALBRECHT DÜRER (1471-1528)

The Bath House Nuremberg, about 1496 Woodcut 388 X 282 MM Dürer depicts an open-air bath house of a kind that was popular in northern Europe around 1500. Male figures are shown at different ages and in varied and complex poses, created by a network of crisp lines that curve and trace the surface of … Read more

Become a Patron of the Barber Association

Become a Patron We have three levels of Patronage – Benefactor, Director’s Circle and 1932 Club – each offering a range of enjoyable and stimulating benefits for those who are excited by art and music, and the opportunity to inspire the same passion in future generations. To join the Association, please complete and return the … Read more

IN FRONT OF NATURE

The European Landscapes of Thomas Fearnley The fjords, forests, mountains, torrents and glaciers of Scandinavia and Switzerland, the lakes and picturesque country buildings of Cumbria, and the sun-drenched plains, hillsides, rocks and sea-shores of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean… Landscapes featuring a breathtaking range of Europe’s varied and beautiful scenery feature in this dazzling exhibition- … Read more