Barber Institute continues 80th anniversary celebrations


The Barber Institute of Fine Arts reaches the climax of its 80th anniversary celebrations this month with exhibitions and events for all the family throughout May

  • Rembrandt, Goya and Cézanne … Major paintings from the National Gallery by these great artists and others, can be seen in the Barber for the first time, in the stunning interspersed display About Face: European Portrait Masterpieces from the National Gallery London, the Royal Collection and the Courtauld Gallery (17 May-1 September). Together with miniatures and sketches from the Royal Collection by the likes of Hilliard and Van Dyck, and a stunning painting from the Courtauld Gallery by Sir Peter Lely, these works will form the centerpiece of the Barber’s 80th anniversary programme. Placed against the Barber’s own works, they will aim to invite comparison and pose the question as to whether the Barber’s collection really holds true to Lady Barber’s stipulation that it be ‘…of that standard of quality required by the National Gallery or the Wallace Collection’.
  • Lady B’s Big Birthday Bash Saturday (18 May 11am-4pm) Family Open Day at the Barber returns! Join Lady Hattie Barber, her husband, Sir Henry, and their favourite portrait-painter, Nestor Cambier for a fantastic celebration. With hilarious and entertaining drama and storytelling, craft to make and take home, fascinating and enjoyable gallery tours with the Barber’s Director – and even a chance to make some music in our Krazy Kazoo Orchestra – there’s something to interest and entertain every member of the family.
  • Calling all art lovers! Now in its 10th year, Galleries Night is BACK! On Thursday 16 May, 5-9pm, enjoy the delights of the collections and exhibitions at six of Birmingham’s top galleries the Barber, along with Ikon, the RBSA Gallery, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, mac Birmingam and Eastside Projects, with the free Art Bus between venues and guided tours available at each. This year, to minimize transport times between most galleries, two separate - but connected – bus routes will operate.
  • Made in Birmingham: Reggae, Punk, Bhangra screening, Sunday 12 May, 2-4.30pm. Looking at some of the most wide-spread musical movements - which began right here in the second city, famous names from influential Birmingham bands, such as UB40 and Musical Youth talk about their distinctive musical styles in this fascinating documentary. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film’s producer, Professor Roger Shannon.
  • Discover the art of contemporary photography in our 4-week course Through the Lens of Realism (Saturday 4, 11, 18 & 25 May, 11am-4pm), in which you will learn to document the seemingly ordinary scenes around you. Tutor Tom Flathers will guide you in capturing the extraordinary within the everyday world.

For more information and ticket prices (where applicable) visit To book onto any events please contact 0121 414 2261 or


Professional Services