Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)

Merz V Berlin, 1923 Lithograph Paper: 55 x 44.5 cm; mount: 81 x 61 cm  This print is a combination of abstract, geometric forms and is one of a series of six works called ‘Merz Mappe’. Freshly printed fragments of paper, discarded from the printing process, were applied to a lithographic stone to create this … Read more

Augustus John (1878-1961)

Nude Girl Standing London or Paris, about 1906 Etching 19 x 11.5 cm  A young naked woman stands with her knee upon a bed. Her pensive expression and downturned eyes suggest intimacy and naturalness. The loose, hastily etched lines highlight the mass and unevenness of her body rather than idealising her figure. The model is … Read more

Graham Sutherland (1903-1980)

La Petite Afrique British, 1953 Lithograph This print is a study of a natural form that evokes a twisted and decaying human body, drawing comparisons with the Crucifixion images in Print Power. In 1953 he was working on the commission of a tapestry for Coventry Cathedral; there are echoes of that design in the small … Read more

Emil Nolde (1867-1956)

Prophet Berlin, 1912 Woodcut 49.5 x 36.5 cm; mount 73 x 59 cm In this deliberately roughly-cut woodcut of an unnamed prophet, the thick hair and beard merge with the blackness of the background. Nolde pursued a unique spiritual path and sought to express his own, truly German, art. Purchased 1996 (No. 96.5)

Max Ernst (1891-1976)

Birds in Green, Rain USA, 1959 Etching with aquatint and mixed techniques printed in colours Forms of birds and hands frequently appear in this pattern of lines. Highly influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories of the mind, Ernst experimented with automatic drawing, in which he used uncontrolled strokes in an attempt to represent the unconscious visually. … Read more

Chance, Order, Change

Abstract Paintings 1939 – 1989 Josef Albers, Bridget Riley, Victor Pasmore, Ad Reinhardt and Sean Scully: some of the most influential artists of the later 20th century feature in this exciting exhibition, which forms the centrepiece of the spring programme. Coming to the Barber from an important private collection and never before seen together in public, … Read more

MODERN & MISCELLANEOUS

In addition to its world-class medieval coin collection and impressive selection of Roman coins, the Barber Institute Coin Room also houses various selections of modern coins, a small range of Hellenistic coinage and a small but significant collection of Byzantine lead seals. Some of these have resulted from generous donations. Others form part of the … Read more

The Collection

The Barber Institute contains one of the finest small collections of European art in the UK. The works have been purchased to fit Lady Barber’s criteria that everything should be of ‘that standard of quality required by the National Gallery or Wallace Collection’. Careful consideration has also been given to making sure that the works … Read more