Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (BMAG) is the largest city museums service in England. Our visitor numbers continue to rise and in 2009/10 we welcomed 856,000 visitors (an increase of 26% on the previous year) and including 50,000 school children. Our global programme of loans – lending objects to other institutions – means that every year, over 3 million people visiting museums and art galleries worldwide see collections that have come from Birmingham.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a Grade II* listed city centre landmark building. The museum shows its collections of art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography in over 40 galleries. The collections have been Designated as outstanding by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and have local, regional, national and international importance.

The Community Museums are: Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, and Soho House. All are important historic buildings offering a wide range of displays, exhibitions, events and activities for everyone. Although most of the sites are not open to the general public during the winter months, schools and other groups are still able to visit on a pre-booked basis. In addition to the five museum sites, the Heritage Services section also cares for Weoley Castle, the ruins of a 13th Century manor house which recently underwent a £1.14m capital refurbishment project.

The Museum Collections Centre (MCC) brings together the majority of the stored collections into one building. Access is being developed with research, visits, and public open days.

Interpretation of the collections is supported by an active learning programme delivered by a team of Learning Support Officers, Public Programmes Officers and Teachers. The Learning Department is the largest of any Local Authority Museum in England.

There is a constantly changing programme of exhibitions and events across the whole service with Soho House, Aston Hall and Blakesley Hall offering special community-focussed spaces and programmes.

The service also has responsibility for the care and maintenance of the City’s public art portfolio and is leading on the implementation of the BCC Heritage Strategy. It also manages and facilitates the loan, development and care of the City’s collections of science and technology to Thinktank, and the City’s Natural History Collections.

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