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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery partially reopens with transformed Round Room
Via Stacey for Birmingham Museums Trust
28th April 2022: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s iconic Round Room has undergone a radical and exciting transformation as part of the landmark building’s partial reopening for the Commonwealth Games and Birmingham 2022 Festival.
The Industrial Gallery has also reopened seven days a week with a series of new displays created by Birmingham Museums Trust curators in partnership with some of the city’s most creative organisations. Elsewhere, the Bridge Gallery is showcasing a selection of gems from the civic collection and inviting feedback on what people want to see from the museum when it reopens fully, and Gallery 10 will showcase historic artworks and new acquisitions giving visitors the chance to step back and reflect on living with through the pandemic.
The Displays which run until 30th October include:
- We Are Birmingham: On display in the Round Room, We Are Birmingham reflects the people of 21st Century Birmingham
- In The Que: In the Industrial Gallery, a sensory exhibition celebrates one of Birmingham’s greatest music venues – the Que Club.
- Wonderland: Birmingham’s Cinema Stories by Flatpack Projects: explores how cinema has shaped the streets, social lives and dreams of Brummies over the past 125 years.
- SaVĀge K’lubroom: New Zealand/Aotearoa artists Rosanna Raymond and Jaimie Waititi present a SaVĀge K’lubroom in a secretive corner of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (launches on Saturday 30th April)
- Collection Stories: The Bridge Gallery plays host to Collection Stories, which showcases the breadth of the city’s collection displaying over 30 gems, including extraordinary works of art.
- Unprecedented Times: Finally, an additional display in Gallery 10 invites people to take a moment to pause and reflect on all that has passed in Birmingham over the last two years of living with Covid-19.
The popular Edwardian Tearooms and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Shop have also reopened today for hot drinks, lunches and unique gifts and collaborations with local makers.
The reopening of five out of the museum’s 40 galleries has taken place while Birmingham City Council’s essential electrical works programme continues safely in other areas of the building. The areas that have reopened will close again in December 2022 to allow maintenance work to continue before the building reopens fully in 2024.
The partial reopening is the first chance to see the journey Birmingham Museums Trust is embarking on to make the museum and the organisation more representative of the people of the city with a new approach to galleries and displays, all driven and co-curated with the people of the city.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the city’s first major art exhibition since the pandemic began when the Gas Hall reopens on Saturday 14th May, with an Arts Council Collection exhibition curated by Turner Prize-winning and internationally-renowned artist Lubaina Himid CBE. Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City, opens in Birmingham with a selection of local works before touring galleries and museums across the UK.
Sara Wajid and Zak Mensah, Co-CEOs of Birmingham Museums Trust, said:
Re-opening this Spring feels like a symbolic marker of the end of lockdown and the start of a new phase of cultural confidence for Birmingham. This is a chance to welcome old friends and new visitors from all over the world.
The new displays such as We Are Birmingham, Blacklash, SaVĀge K’lub honour the contribution of activists, reformers and creative pioneers, while the Unprecedented Times reflections on life through the pandemic helps us make sense of these bewildering times through art. In the Que and Wonderland are joyful, thrilling celebrations of our collective popular culture.
We thank you for your patience and support while we repair the building and to all the team and collaborators for bringing us to this moment.”
For further information visit: birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on