Since it opened in 1885 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, situated in Chamberlain Square, has housed and displayed works of art, historical and archaeological artefacts and explored cultures from around the world.
It has long been a popular place to spend some quality time, from admiring the impressive collection of art and learning about all aspects of our history, to relaxing with a cuppa in the beautiful surroundings of the Edwardian Tea Rooms.
Although the Museum itself doesn’t offer parking, B4 Car Park is less than 10 minutes walk away and offers competitive tariffs and a safe, clean place to leave your car.
If you’re thinking of visiting Birmingham, the Museum has a varied programme of exhibitions for 2019, which we’ve summarised below.
26 Jan – 12 May 2019
Rachel Maclean will examine the world of cuteness by curating works from the Arts Council Collection and Birmingham’s collection to reveal how objects and images can have the unique ability to be simultaneously sweet and sinister.
Maclean’s display will showcase the multiple manifestations of sinister cuteness with works ranging from 19th-century oil paintings to internet-inspired installations.
From adult onesies to bunny ear photo-filters, there is an overwhelming presence of cuteness in contemporary society. Maclean will use the exhibition to ask why we feel the need to share and reproduce cute things, as well as question the fine line between cuteness and creepiness.
The gallery will be transformed with the artist’s signature colourful style and accompanying the exhibition will be an interpretative video with a twist! ‘Dr Cute’ – a grotesque Care Bear-like creature played by Maclean – will present a short lecture on the themes explored in the show, whilst being repeatedly distracted by its contents.
Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing
1 Feb – 6 May 2019
To mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, 12 of the Renaissance master’s drawings from the Royal Collection will go on display in Birmingham, as part of 12 simultaneous exhibitions across the UK.
Revered in his day as a painter, Leonardo completed only around 20 paintings; he was respected as a sculptor and architect, but no sculpture or buildings by him survive.
Collecting Birmingham: Who is Birmingham?
18 Apr – 27 Oct 2019
Discover new collections that reflect the experiences of diverse Birmingham people – from working lives, to community activists and protest movements. The Collecting Birmingham project has gathered objects and oral histories over the past three years, focusing on stories of people from Aston, Soho, Nechells and Ladywood.
The exhibition will not only showcase the objects that have been collected during the project but, more importantly, it will highlight the people of Birmingham who have generously contributed their stories, and who have shared difficult and complex histories and issues.
Black Sabbath – 50 years
22 Jun – 29 Sep 2019
Birmingham’s very own Black Sabbath feature in an exhibition that investigates the band’s legacy and that of its global fan base.
Formed in 1968 they are considered by many to be the pioneers of heavy metal. Featuring photos, stories and memorabilia, the exhibition will explore how the music of four working class lads captured the hearts and minds of fans worldwide, and documents the 50 year relationship between the band and their fans
Within and Without: Body Image and the Self
Until 5 May 2019
The exhibition examines how social, historical and cultural factors affect body image and how this is expressed through objects and artworks. It explores how body image impacts on issues such as social status, gender, stage of life, health, aesthetics, religion, politics and sexuality.
Fighting for our Heritage
25 Aug – 1 Feb 2019
Exploring the rich history of amateur boxing clubs and famous boxers from Birmingham, this exhibition tells the story of boxing in the city from the early 1900s to the present day.
It includes the characters and establishments across Birmingham that played a pivotal role in the sport’s development, and the heritage and history of boxing in all Birmingham’s communities.
Objects from boxing’s history including robes, belts and medals will be on display alongside rarely-seen images of Birmingham’s boxing stories, and interviews with those who have led the sport.
Women Power Protest
Until 31 Mar 2019
It’s 100 years since the first women won the right to vote, and ‘Women Power Protest’ brings together modern and contemporary artworks from the Arts Council Collection and Birmingham’s to celebrate female artists who have explored protest, social commentary and identity in their work.
Inspired by the bold work of feminist artists and activists, Women Power Protest will raise awareness, provoke debate and ask just how much has changed for women?
For further information on these exhibitions, including times and prices, visit Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
B4 – Birmingham’s loveliest city centre car park
B4 Car Park is open to everyone all day, every day. You don’t have to be a member to park at B4, but if you sign-up you can benefit from some great discounts! At the weekend members get 50% discount off the standard tariff and during the week they get 20% discount off the standard tariff. So what are you waiting for?! It’s FREE to sign-up.