The need for an essential electrical upgrade has put an end to plans to reopen Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to the public after the latest Covid lockdown.
The Museum now aims to reopen in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the 160th anniversary of the birth of Birmingham’s collection, with refreshed displays that “re-invigorate its collection re-interpreting it for the 21st Century”. Paintings of landscapes, historic subjects and dignitaries from the past will go and the new We Are Birmingham display will present “a vibrant celebration of the city that Birmingham has become”, drawing on new artworks as well as historic items from Birmingham’s Collections.
In the meanwhile, Birmingham City Council, which owns the museum building and neighbouring Council House, will be undertaking the electrical work to future-proof the building and make it safe for staff and visitors. More than 2150 items from Birmingham’s collections will initially need to be moved, and a further 33,000 items placed in safe storage.
During the closure, the Museum will be taking artworks and items from the collections into schools, inviting Birmingham citizens to co-produce new displays for when the museum re-opens, sharing Birmingham’s collection through digital platforms, and staging a series of outdoor exhibitions.