Our venues


Photo bmag

World class museum in the heart of Birmingham city centre.

Chamberlain Square

Birmingham, B3 3DH

0121 348 8038

Photo thinktank

Award-winning science museum for fun-packed family days out.

Millennium Point, Curzon Street

Birmingham, B4 7XG

0121 348 8000

Photo aston

Explore the splendour of one of the last great houses built in the Jacobean style.

Trinity Road, Aston

Birmingham, B6 6JD

0121 348 8100

Photo blakesley

Discover a fine Tudor house and beautiful gardens just a few miles from the heart of the city.

Blakesley Road

Birmingham, B25 8RN

0121 348 8120

Photo jewellery

A perfectly preserved workshop in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.

75-80 Vyse Street

Birmingham, B18 6HA

0121 348 8140

Photo sarehole

A 250 year old working watermill famous for its association with author J.R.R Tolkien.

Cole Bank Road

Birmingham, B13 0BD

0121 348 8160

Photo soho

Georgian home of the Birmingham industrialist, Matthew Boulton.

Soho Avenue (off Soho Road)

Birmingham, B18 5LB

0121 348 8150

Photo weoley

The ruins of an exquisite fortified manor house built 750 years ago.

Alwold Road

Birmingham, B29

0121 348 8160

21 Jul 2017

Birmingham Museums’ Patrons give virtual reality a go

Birmingham Museums’ Patrons gathered last week for a special private evening viewing of Mat Collishaw’s Thresholds, which is currently on show in the Waterhall at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Thresholds is an exciting new project using the latest virtual reality technology to restage one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward’s School, then located on Birmingham’s New Street. The building has long since been demolished, and Fox Talbot’s prints either faded beyond recognition or too delicate to be displayed, making Thresholds a really unique opportunity to step back in time, via cutting edge technology.

The event was the latest in a series programmed for the Patrons’ each year, including behind-the-scenes tours and special talks from Museum experts. With many of the evening’s guests never having experienced any kind of virtual reality before, there was plenty of excitement and a little bit of trepidation about what was in store. The group was lucky to be joined by Pete James, one of the collaborators on Thresholds and an expert in photographic history, who told us more about the background of the project and what to expect. 

A whole host of special equipment is needed to experience Thresholds; a backpack, goggles and headphones – at least everyone looks equally silly! Once kitted up by our specially trained front of house team what at first appeared to be a plain white room becomes a stunning atmospheric recreation of the period surroundings of the King Edward’s School. The patrons’ who attended on the evening explored the space of the exhibition, ‘picking up’ the photographs and listening to the sound of the Chartist rioters on the streets outside.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even if it a few did feel a bit jelly-legged when they re-emerged in the real world. It was a fantastic opportunity to be immersed in a little known part of Birmingham’s history. 

Mat Collishaw’s Threholds is open Thursday to Sunday until 6 August.

If you would like to know more about Birmingham Museums’ Patrons’ scheme please visit our Support Us page, call the Development Office on 0121 348 8293 or email development@birminghammuseums.org.uk