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18 Aug 2017

Whitworth Wallis Artist in Residence Blog 2017 – Week One

The scene is set. Gallery 15 of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery will be the base for our next four weeks as Whitworth Wallis Artists in Residence, becoming the pinpoint of our research and development, embedded within the amazing collections that will surround us. As Artists in Residence, a wording that is full of potential and possibility, we began the week becoming accustomed to the interior spaces and meeting the staff members who run it. After briefings on fire, health & safety and technical procedures we set up our working space, soon to be filled with ideas, research and investigation. A setting of our new collaborative practice, working together for the first time.

The studio is located in the middle of the museum, squeezed between Edward Burne-Jones and the 18th & 19th Century Art exhibitions, an ideal central space that will become a hub for activity and experimentation, open to the public through its two pairs of large and beautiful doors. Its ambience drove us to document the space. Read More...

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17 Aug 2017

Destination Moon

We currently have Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon on display until Sunday 20th August which has been incredible popular with visitors. I’ve enjoyed providing our audiences with amazing moon facts and decided to share a blog with everybody too, so why not have a read? 

Before the Moon facts let me share some info with you on Museum of the Moon. Read More...

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16 Aug 2017

Visit to The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, to see the exhibition ‘Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity’

It’s a rainy Thursday morning and I’m racing to get the coach to Liverpool! I’m in great company with some of our museum staff and members of two LGBT groups we have been working with – Unmuted and Ageing Better. We’re off to see the first incarnation of a wonderful exhibition called 'Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity' and I have been working on the Birmingham showing of this exhibition when it opens in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s Gas Hall on December 2nd. 

It is also a very poignant day because Thursday July 27th 2017 marks exactly 50 years since the partial de-criminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales (The Sexual Offences Act, 1967). There is an air of excitement and anticipation on the coach as we battle traffic and rain to get to Liverpool.  Read More...

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9 Aug 2017

Thinktank Museum of the Moon Photo Competition

Share your best moon silhouette photo to be in with the chance of winning a Adult, Child or Concession Membership Plus for Birmingham Museums!

Use the hashtag #MuseumOfTheMoon and tag us @ThinktankMuseum. Entries will be accepted on Facebook , Twitter  and Instagram . Read More...

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4 Aug 2017

Birmingham Manufactures: Women’s Work at Elkington & Co.

It might not look like much, but this box of tools offers an important insight into women’s work in Birmingham at the start of the twentieth century. The tools pictures here are part of a much larger collection of tools donated to the museum in 1972, and were used for burnishing – which is a bit like polishing – and was a vital part of the manufacturing process for a variety of metals.

Tools like this were used to push the rough surface of an unfinished metal surface into alignment, and create the smooth polished shiny surface of the metal products Birmingham was known for. The tops of these tools are made of agate, a semi-precious stone which was used because it is extremely smooth and hard wearing. These were expensive to buy, and because every burnisher was expected to own their own tools, they were often passed down through the family. Read More...

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31 Jul 2017

Pilot Our Egyptian Themed Sleepover at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Do you run a group for kids and families? We have a great opportunity for you, but you have to act fast! 

In order to trial Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery sleepovers we are giving a large group the opportunity to book an Egyptian themed sleepover in August - up to 60 people for £1,200. This could work out for as little as £20 per head! This price includes a midnight feast and breakfast!  Read More...

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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. Read More...

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20 Jul 2017

Summer Holiday Activities at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Join us for a whole host of art and history related family activities during the school summer holidays. From contemporary art and technology, to working with artists, getting up close to real artefacts, and enjoying all things Big Sleuth and bear related, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Our holiday activities follow a weekly pattern, with the odd special event featured over the summer. This programme may be subject to change. Please check the What's On page for regular updates! Read More...

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17 Jul 2017

Detour to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

There is now a slim-line walkway from Victoria Square to the main entrance. However visitors requiring lift access will find themselves blocked from getting there if they approach via Victoria Square, but don't worry there is a detour in place that will only take a few minutes to walk!

If you are approaching Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from Victoria Square please head to the right of the Council House. You then need to turn left into Eden Place (Starbucks is on the corner). At the end of Eden Place turn left again onto Edmund Street.  Read More...

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4 Jul 2017

The Collection Support Trainee Diaries: Part 1

Hi everyone, I am Emma, the new (ish) Collections Support Trainee based at the Museum Collections Centre (MCC) and have been at the site for almost 6 months now. So, I guess it is about time I let you all in on who I am and what I do! 

I started my placement at the MCC at the end of January after getting onto a traineeship run by the independent arts and education charity, Culture&. The traineeship, Strengthening Our Common Life, is a Heritage Lottery funded project that aims to encourage diversity in the visitors and workforce of various heritage institutions with the help of a whopping 17 partners, one of which is Birmingham Museums Trust. There are 18 of us trainees based in various institutions doing various roles, but I was lucky enough to get my placement at the MCC for the next year and will also be getting a Level 3 QCF in Cultural Heritage as it is a work based accredited programme – wahoo! Read More...