Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery reopens after seven months

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has reopened today for the first time in nearly seven months after the coronavirus pandemic.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Visitors will get to see new displays, including the first chance to see Cold War Steve's two-metre wide Birmingham college, Benny's Babbies, in person.

Launched in April, it can now been seen in all its glory framed and displayed in the museum. It showcases notable Birmingham people, and onlookers are encouraged to see who they can spot before using the QR code to discover everyone who features.

Also new for the reopening, is a portrait of girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai by Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat which has never been on public display before. On loan from the National Portrait Gallery and commissioned with support from Outset Contemporary Art Fund, the striking image of Malala seated at a school desk is part of the Coming Home initiative, which sees portraits from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection travel to places across the UK they are closely associated with.

Identity

The portrait will be accompanied by two works from Birmingham’s collection on related themes of home and identity by artists connected to the city – In the House of My Father by Donald Rodney and Not Your Fantasy I by Farwa Moledina.

Other new works on display also include Excerpt by Birmingham artist Mixed Milk. In this frenetic film the artist uses photography of the city’s collection of art and objects and re-sequences them to encourage the viewer to become aware of the intimate connections we all share.

Gurminder Kenth, museum manager at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, said: “It feels brilliant to be opening our doors again and welcoming visitors back to the museum once more. This is the ideal time to explore BMAG and to experience new and familiar displays while we are quieter due to reduced capacity.

“With a pre-booked ticket, you’ll have the time and space to browse the galleries at your leisure and escape the news by immersing yourself in art and the peaceful surroundings of the museum. We can’t wait to welcome visitors back!”

Timed tickets for entry must be pre-booked at birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag with new opening times of Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. The museum will be operating with a reduced capacity to accommodate social distancing.

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