Barber Institute of Fine Arts - A Birmingham Gem!

The world renowned Barber Institute of Fine Arts is located at the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston behind The Equestrian Statue of King George I.


The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is a fabulous art gallery that is open to the public and free to visit.

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham (December 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

You can approach the gallery from Edgbaston Park Road. It is located on Ring Road North, near the East Gate and the University of Birmingham Guild of Students.  It is directly opposite King Edward's School.

 

Collections of Art

The Barber Institute includes in it's collection famous works by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, J. M. W. Turner and Rubens.

There are also collections of French impressionism and Post-impressionism works by Degas, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Gauguin.

British artists on display at the Institute include Aubrey Beardsley, Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, Turner amongst others. There is also a fine collection of sculpture, old master prints and drawings.

 

History of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts

The building, Grade II listed, was built between 1935 and 1939 and was designed by the architect Robert Atkinson in the Art Deco style.

It was opened by Queen Mary (the Queen Consort and later widow of King George V).

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts was the inspiration of Martha Constance Hattie Barber, in memory of her late husband Henry Barber, a wealthy property developer in Birmingham's suburbs. Henry Barber became a baron in 1924 and died three years later. Lady Barber decided to make a permenant contribution to the city in his memory. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts was founded in 1932 and the founding director was Thomas Bodkin.

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Main entrance to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham (December 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Equestrian Statue of King George I

The statue was bought by the first director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Thomas Bodkin in 1937.

It was originally commissioned by the City of Dublin in 1717, and was unveiled in the City in 1722. It was sculpted by the Dutch sculpter John van Nost the Elder. During the early part of the 20th Century, when Ireland was on it's way to form a Republic, there was a risk that the statue could have been destroyed so Mr Bodkin bought it and relocated it in Birmingham.

George I

The statue of George I outside of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham (December 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Address and contact:

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham

B15 2TS

0121 414 7333

info@barber.co.uk

www.barber.co.uk 

 

Project dates

25 Jan 2021 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Civic pride, Art; Culture & creativity
Photography, Travel & tourism, People & community, Classic Architecture

Contact

(for further information)

Admin FreeTimePays

0121 410 5520
Admin@ FreeTimePays.com