Thank you for your interest and questions regarding the closure of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions below and will keep you updated on any further developments.
When did the museum close?
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery closed on Sunday 13 November at 5pm.
Why has the museum closed?
The building had closed for Birmingham City Council’s ongoing essential maintenance work to the museum and Council House. This includes electrical work, upgrading the heating, roof repairs and the replacement of lifts.
We recognised that 2022 was an exciting year for Birmingham when the spotlight was on the city for the Commonwealth Games, so we worked hard to get as much of the museum open as possible this year. It is now time for the museum to close once again so that the building works can continue.
When will the museum reopen?
We plan to reopen the museum sometime in 2024 – the exact date is to be confirmed.
We realise the closure will be disappointing for many people, but the ongoing building work is very important and will ensure the museum can be enjoyed in full in the future. We thank all our visitors for their patience.
What will be on display when the museum reopens?
This year’s partial reopening of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery was 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 created in partnership with the people of the city.
When the museum reopens again, many of the most popular objects and artworks will be on display.
The displays will be different to before. Throughout 2023 we be working with people and partners across the city to develop these new displays, so that they tell the stories and display the objects that people most want to see when the museum reopens.
Will the Pre-Raphaelites and Staffordshire Hoard be back on display when the museum reopens?
Yes. We recognise that the Pre-Raphaelite artworks and the Staffordshire Hoard are two of our most treasured and popular collections. We will ensure these are on display when the museum reopens.
We are carrying out new research into the Pre-Raphaelite collection and plan to display some new stories about the artworks when the museum reopens.
Will there be a gallery for children when the museum opens?
How much of the museum will reopen?
We plan to reopen as much of the museum as possible. The displays will be different to before. Throughout 2023 we be working with people and partners across the city to develop these new displays, so that they tell the stories and display the objects that people most want to see when Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery reopens.
Where are the objects and artworks now?
The museum objects are now packed away and put safely into storage whilst the infrastructure works are underway.
This was a huge undertaking by our collections team to ensure 35,000 objects (26,000 works on paper, 1,000 paintings, and 8,000 objects) were checked, packed and carefully moved.
The Staffordshire Hoard can be seen on display at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. Many other objects and artworks are on loan to other venues across the region and country. See the full list on the objects on loan page.
Some of the stored objects can be seen at the Museum Collection Centre, the main store for Birmingham Museums, which holds around a million items. The Museum Collection Centre is open to the public once a week for pre-booked tours.
Who is funding the work?
The electrical upgrade is part of Birmingham City Council’s works.
Funding has been secured via the Government’s Museums Estate and Development Fund (MEND) for the roof and other infrastructure works such as new lifts.
Why didn’t the maintenance work happen in lockdown?
The electrical work is part of a programme of work by Birmingham City Council on the Council House Complex and needed to be scheduled to fit in with these plans.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is a Grade II* listed landmark building so any work of this kind needs be carefully planned and undertaken, so it could not have happened any sooner.