The Barber Institute of Fine Arts owes its existence to the vision of Lady Martha Constance Hattie Barber (1869–1933) — pictured (right) in a portrait by James Jebusa Shannon [1912]. Lady Barber was the daughter of a wealthy Worcestershire businessman, Simon Onions, who, after an education at Cheltenham Ladies College married the Birmingham solicitor and … Read more


The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is housed in one of Birmingham’s finest Art Deco buildings, purpose built and opened by Queen Mary in 1939. The Barber Institute was designed by Robert Atkinson (1883-1952), one of Britain’s leading architects of the 1920s and ’30s. When it opened The Times described the building as ‘the purest … Read more