Our collection broadly traces the major developments in Western European art from around 1340 to the present day, including 17th century Baroque painting.

Birmingham’s collection was mostly bought in the post-War period under the directorship of Trenchard Cox (1944-56) and continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s by his successors. Grant funding, public appeals, and occasional joint acquisition helped us get more objects.


  • paintings by Bellini, Botticelli, Petrus Christus, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini, notable 18th century works including paintings by Canaletto and Guardi, and prints and drawings by Pietro da Cortona, Dürer, Rembrandt, Vuillard and Picasso.
  • the contemporary art collection includes paintings, works on paper and time-based media by 15 European contemporary artists, acquired through the Art Fund International scheme.