Before 2012 I wasn't sure if you could take photos inside Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery so took some but not much. But when the Birmingham Museums Trust took over from the council, photo restrictions were relaxed and it was now ok to take photos in the galleries (unless you were told not to). Some of the permenant galleries have changed over the years.


A tour (over the years) of the galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Before 2012 I wasn't sure if you could take photos inside Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery so took some but not much. But when the Birmingham Museums Trust took over from the council, photo restrictions were relaxed and it was now ok to take photos in the galleries (unless you were told not to). Some of the permenant galleries have changed over the years.

Enter the museum at the Chamberlain Square entrance. And head up the stairs. You go around this ellaborate entrance hall. This view from April 2012. This quote from Pevsner "The upper landing with covered ceiling and square rooflight".

The Round Room seen in March 2012. There are paintings around the room. This view towards the Chamberlain Square exit / entrance. The shop and the Industrial Gallery are to the left. In the centre of the room is Jabob Epstein's Lucifer. This description from Pevsner "The impressive Round Room, with plain walls for hanging pictures and a low conical glass roof above a strapwork band of circles and hexagons".

We now enter the Industrial Gallery. In this view below from March 2012 looking up to the ceiling. There is steps to the floor above where you can see Ruskin pottery. The following quote from Pevsner: "The Industrial Gallery is all in exposed ironwork: seven aisled bays with columns in two tiers, semicircular arcades and cross-arches in the aisles, larger semicircular trusses supporting the roof, all of them exposed I-beams with the rivets prominent. Like a classical version of the Oxford Museum; but the immediate inspiration must be J.H. Chamberlain's Board Schools. Huge pendant  gas burners. T-plan staircase of 1893, with a different design of railings".

Another view of the Industrial Gallery but from the floor with Ruskin Pottery during April 2012. The gift shop is just beyond the archway. They also have up here: Wedgwood pottery, English pottery, English Porcelain, De Morgan Pottery, Worcester Porcelain and others. The Soho House Sphinxes are now back at Soho House.

Now above the Edwardian Tea Room. This floor has metalworks such as gates and iron objects. Also steel plates, candlesticks and cups. This view from April 2012.

A look at the Edwardian Tea Room as it was during April 2012. The room outside used to be the Buddha Gallery, but is now the Mini Museum for kids (there is a new Faith Gallery in another part of the museum now). Here's a quote from Pevsner: "The present Tea Room has a cantilevered iron gallery and impressive, slightly Romanesque, details e.g. blind arcading with paired colonnettes".

The Edwardian Tea Room was given a new look and I went up to the Metalworks Gallery during August 2014 for a look below. All new furniture, tables and chairs. It can get quite busy in here. But if you don't want to come in here, there is also a new cafe just on the other side of the link bridge.

The Link Bridge between the 1885 built museum and the Council House Extension completed in about 1911. I found it to be empty during January 2019. but there are normally pictures on the walls, but BM & AG staff rotate what they put in here quite a lot. Oh and that new cafe is at the far end of here, to the left, if you were wondering. Sit inside, or sit on the seats outside of it.

In November 2018, I found this gallery with blue walls to be completely empty. It was between temporary exhibitions. Modern British Art may have been in here before. By January 2019 they were decorating this gallery, and it opened for a short while in late January 2019 as "Too Cute! Sweet is about to get Sinister" Curated by Rachel Maclean. It opened on the 26th January and it ran until the 12th May 2019. Saw it myself during February 2019.

Now a look at some temporary exhibitions in the main galleries. This was called The Past is Now - Birmingham and the British Empire. I saw it during January 2018.

New Art West Midlands seen in one of the galleries during April 2013. This sculpture is called: Man and his Sheep 1989 by Ana Maria Pacheco. Wood, paint, teeth. The artist is from Brazil. Seven figures huddle around an almost naked man holding a sheep's head on a pole. This sculpture is now back in one of the galleries at BM & AG after coming out of storage.

In the Modern British Art gallery during January 2013. This is the Rock Drill Reconstruction made in 1974, based on the original of 1913-15. It was designed by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880 - 1959). Made of Polyester resin, metals and wood. Epstein created his original in 1913. It was a life-size plaster figure of a visored robotic man seated upon an actual rock drill. It was shown briefly in 1915 before being dismantled. This is a reconstruction made in 1974 from Epstein's studio photographs. It was presented to the museum in 1982. Epstein destroyed his original Rock Drill, but there are still photos of the original Rock Drill by Jacob Epstein.

This is the Ancient Egypt Gallery as seen during March 2012. There is a set of friezes around this room. At the time the gallery below featured artifacts from Ancient Greece & Rome, but BM & AG later turned that gallery into the new Staffordshire Hoard Gallery. So I'm not quite sure where those objects have gone (if they are still in the museum, or moved to the Birmingham Museums Collections Centre). These galleries are quite close to the Great Charles Street Queensway entrance (now no longer in use).

The second Staffordshire Hoard Gallery as seen from above from the Ancient Egypt Gallery (the one with the friezes all around). Seen for the first time during October 2014. It opened on the 17th October 2014, and this photo was taken the following day on the 18th October 2014. I've not taken close up photos of the hoard pieces (not sure if you are allowed to do so). As when the old gallery was open, I don't think they allowed photos of the pieces of the hoard.

Going back to March 2012 and this gallery with historical objects relating to African History. Around the room is this  plaster cast of the Frieze of the Nereid Monument (original in the British Museum dated to 380 B.C.). Gallery 33 is below.

A look at Gallery 33 during March 2012. From the same gallery above with the African artifacts and the frieze. It was an exhibition about the way people live, beliefs, values, customs and art from around the world. In recent years this gallery has been closed off to the public. Seem to use it for storage, photo shoots and other things.

There used to be an entrance on Great Charles Street Queensway (the doors are still there), but when Paradise Birmingham started (the roadworks) that entrance was closed off. Since the roadworks were completed the entrance has remained closed (so Edmund Street or Chamberlain Square are the only other entrances still in use to this day). But I have used it in the past. One of my earliest photos of this Forward coat of arms stained glass window from the steps during July 2009.

A zoom in of the Forward coat of arms from the staircase near the Great Charles Street Queensway entrance during April 2012.

Another window seen on the same day during April 2012. This one with the Forward shield of Birmingham.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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