In just four weeks’ time Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery will unpack a series of pop-up displays and live events that bring a different feel to the historic building for the Commonwealth Games and Birmingham 2022 Festival.
On Thursday, 28 April, 2022, the Round Room, Industrial Gallery, Edwardian Tearooms, Gallery 10 and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Shop will reopen seven days a week. The Bridge Gallery will also reopen to showcase a selection of gems from the civic collection and invite feedback on what people want to see from the museum when it reopens fully.
The partial reopening will take place while Birmingham City Council’s essential electrical works programme continues safely in other areas of the building. The areas reopening in April will close again in December 2022 to allow maintenance work to continue before the building reopens fully in 2024.
It is the first time since October 2020 that visitors will be able to return to one of Birmingham’s most popular visitor attractions and to mark the occasion the galleries are being handed over to some of the city’s most exciting creatives who have responded to the theme of ‘This Is Birmingham’.
The five displays will bring together themes such as culture identity, community, and media, with new objects on display and live events as well as space for visitors to join in and contribute. The displays will be supported by a programme of live events including talks, performances and a series of Edwardian Tearooms ‘Lates’ over the course of the year.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the city’s first major art exhibition since the pandemic when Gas Hall reopens on Saturday, 14 May, with an Arts Council Collection exhibition curated by Turner Prize-winning and internationally-renowned artist Lubaina Himid CBE. Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City, opens in Birmingham with a selection of local works before touring galleries and museums across the UK.
The new exhibition invites visitors to consider the experiences of women in the city, as seen through the lens of art.
April’s partial reopening is the first chance to see the journey the museum will be going on to make it more representative of the people of the city with a new approach to galleries, exhibitions and objects on display, all driven and curated with the people of the city.
Sara Wajid and Zak Mensah, Co-CEOs of Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “Having spoken to the creative teams behind the partner displays and seen their displays taking shape we’re so excited to be unpacking Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in just four weeks – for the Commonwealth Games and the Birmingham 2022 Festival.
“The museum is going to feel very different this summer with a new approach to exhibitions and how visitors enjoy the themes on display and the galleries hosting them.
“While some of the spaces may feel different there will always be a warm welcome and we want everyone to join us for a look around or a hot drink and lunch in the lovely Edwardian Tearooms.”
Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer, Birmingham 2022, said: “Bringing multiple creative companies together under one roof for this series of pop-up displays is really exciting. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is a major cultural force in the city and this fresh direction and openness speaks volumes about Birmingham and the region.”
Animating the Round Room and Industrial Gallery, are Birmingham Music Archive, Fierce, Flatpack Projects, Kalaboration Arts and working in collaboration with Birmingham Museums – Don’t Settle, in partnership with Beatfreeks.