Museum & Galleries

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

England / Europe

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in Chamberlain Square is run by the Birmingham Museums Trust and contains a collection of international importance.  This ranges from fine art, ceramics, jewellery, natural history, archaeology and ethnography to local and industrial history.  It grew from an exhibition building established in 1829.  The first public exhibition room was opened in 1864, and in 1880 the Free Art Gallery was established under the curatorship of a leading local artist, Allen Edward Everitt (1824-82).  This led to the new gallery, opened by The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) in 1885. The building was designed by Yeoville Thompson (1826-1901) and has a well-known clock tower, known as Brum Tower.  Several galleries were badly bombed in 1940.  Many important works are displayed here, including paintings by Constable, Gainsborough, Turner, Francis Bacon and Stanley Spencer.

Dominated by its ‘Big Brum’ clock tower, the building was opened in 1885 and is Grade 2 star listed. The stone in the entrance hall announces “By the gains of Industry we promote Art” and it has long been famed for its pre-Raphaelite paintings. Today BMAG is also celebrated for telling the story of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.


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