Art galleries in Birmingham offer a lot of options for art enthusiasts. You may find a wide variety of imaginative displays & exhibitions here, many of which are on par with the best in the UK.
Whether you’re looking for enormous national institutions or small independent galleries, exquisite classical paintings, or the edgiest modern sculpture.
Even the buildings that house some of Birmingham’s finest galleries are beautiful enough to serve as tourist destinations.
1. Top Art Galleries in Birmingham
Visitors can be sure that their artistic leanings will be adequately satisfied, whether they choose to visit storied institutions like the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery or seek out specialized hidden locales like Grand Union or Stryx.
Why not also check out Birmingham’s stunning museums while you’re here? There are many art galleries in Birmingham, like Birmingham art gallery and, Birmingham Museums, science museum; Ikon Gallery presents the world’s largest collection and many others.
1.1. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
If you intend to visit the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, put on your walking shoes because this first-rate cultural destination offers a plethora of exhibits to discover.
A nice place to start is the domed Round Room, which frequently hosts free musical events and is guarded by Jacob Epstein’s magnificent bronze figure in The Archangel Lucifer.
Visitors can explore one of the world’s largest pre-Raphaelite collections, explore the riches of the largest-ever discovery of Anglo-Saxon gold, or climb to the third level for a thorough, interactive history of Birmingham and its inhabitants and come to the best art galleries in Birmingham.
Many artefacts from Grecian, Egyptian, and Roman cultures have also been discovered, & guided tours are frequently offered if you’d like. Also, we wholeheartedly advise you to schedule some time to stop by the Edwardian Tea Room at BMAG for a piece of cake.
Go around the building to Gas Hall as well as the Waterhall Gallery along Edmund Street if you’re searching for something a touch more modern (entrances opposite each other).
Travelling foreign artists’ ‘exhibitions and local artists’ works are presented in these venues, frequently on display during the biannual West Midlands Open. Although certain exhibitions have a nominal entrance fee, the majority of BMAG’s wonders are entirely free.
The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists is a body with a lot of history and was founded in the 1820s and was granted a royal charter by Queen Victoria in 1868. William Morris & John Everett Millais were among its notable presidents, and King Charles seems to be an honorary member.
2000 the gallery relocated from its palatial New Street location to Brook Street. While the new location may not be nearly as picturesque as its previous home, the gallery’s schedule of spectacular shows more than makes up for it.
RBSA successfully maintains a balance between honouring its illustrious past and making sure it plays a part in the city’s contemporary cultural growth.
The gallery’s permanent collection of more than 800 pieces, which includes ceramics, jewellery, and drawings, will frequently be drawn upon for exhibitions.
But in addition to hosting open entry shows, the RBSA Art Awards, as well as several free seminars, the gallery actively supports regional artists. The RBSA would be a gallery with a schedule of exhibitions that are continually changing.
The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, an artist-led nonprofit that supports artists and encourages participation in the visual arts through a variety of inclusive events, runs the facility.
The gallery has three stories; the ground floor features a modern craft gallery with jewellery, pottery, glass, and textile displays as well as works by RBSA members & associates.
Then, on the second & third levels, there are a variety of exhibitions that may be the work of one artist or several, and they may cover a range of topics.
That’s the reason why this place comes among the best art galleries in Birmingham. The RBSA sponsors several art competitions each year that draw exceptional talent from the UK and other countries. The gallery then hosts award shows to showcase the winners.
1.3. Barber Institute of Fine Arts
One of the nation’s finest collections of art might not be what you expect to find in a relatively inconspicuous building on a college campus, but that speaks to Birmingham’s character as a city that has wonderful things but rarely makes a big deal out of them.
The interior, a tranquil retreat where guests can enjoy more than 500 years of European fine art, contrasts the outside.
There is no admission fee to view the incredible collection of paintings, fine prints, miniatures, and sculptures at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which includes pieces by some of the most well-known painters of all time.
Discover works by Picasso and Van Gogh in this wonderful collection of artworks that span several styles.
The collection spans the fourteenth and twentieth centuries. It includes cubism, the Renaissance, post-impressionism, and numerous other artistic movements and historical periods, including works by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Rembrandt.
The Barber Institute frequently acquires renowned compositions from these collections in exchange for loans of works to other important UK galleries, such as London’s National Gallery.
Together with the permanent collection, the gallery includes room for shorter shows by contemporary artists. The building also features a stunning art deco hall where the great as well as the good of the classical world perform concerts.
1.4. Iron House
Iron House is a diverse art venue with a concept befitting its ancient industrial architecture, located in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
The most recent incarnation of what was formerly a pawn shop and an underground nightclub was started by a group of gallerists, property developers, event planners, and marketers and came in the best art galleries in Birmingham.
With such a modern environment and plenty of natural light filling its atrium, Iron House displays its works with flair. Also, suites contain towering architecture, well-stocked lounge bars, and a private bunker.
1.5. Library of Birmingham
The establishment, which underwent a multi-million-pound renovation and reopened to great fanfare in 2013, is a work of art in and of itself.
The exterior of the Library of Birmingham, one of the biggest regional libraries in Europe, is covered with a skin of metal hoops that spans all six floors.
The inside décor spans from a sleek, contemporary funnel to stairs that evoke Hogwarts by being lined with books. The gallery is located on the third level, and the majority of the images are drawn from the extensive photography collection of the library.
With books, this library offers panoramic vistas, exhibitions, activities, & even a secret garden. Ignore everything you believe to be true about public libraries. It’s not nearly everything, but you can anticipate a tonne of books. But disregard the rest.
Decide if you like or dislike the angular façade of the Library of Birmingham before entering. You can appreciate the airy, contemporary vibe of what its architect, Francine Houben, referred to as the “people’s palace” by looking up from the lobby.
Next, take the lift up to the Skyline Overlook, which is 51 meters above street level and provides knowledgeable visitors with unparalleled panoramic views.
If it’s open, look at the Shakespeare Memorial Room, a unique element of Birmingham’s Victorian library and conveniently located next door. It was designed in 1882.
Comes among the best art galleries in Birmingham, and on a nice day, you may walk down Brum’s giant through the third-floor Discovery Terrace, which is always busy, or the more thickly flowery Hidden Garden, which is, unfortunately, hidden from view.
1.6. Midlands Arts Centre
The Midlands Arts Centre, located on the edge of Cannon Hill Park, has long been the hub of Birmingham’s artistic scene and once featured Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies, Mr Turner) among its permanent directors.
Simply put, anyone concerned with avant-garde contemporary theatre should make MAC one of their first stops, as both the larger Hexagon space and the main theatre is home to some of the most avant-garde theatre companies now active and come in the best art galleries in Birmingham.
A small outdoor theatre and live music venue are available throughout the summer, and a first-floor gallery features both travelling exhibits and original pieces created by Midlands artists.
1.7. Eastside Projects
Comes in the best art galleries in Birmingham, and this enormous structure, which was built in 2008 by a group of artists that comprises Gavin Wade, Ruth Claxton, & architect Céline Condorelli, is the exact opposite of a cosy exhibition space.
Each stage features two exposition halls that each stage four to five exhibitions annually.
Many of the city’s abandoned warehouses & factories have been taken over by artists who want to use them for artistic endeavours.
It is particularly evident in Digbeth, where Eastside Projects has taken over the site of a former cabinet maker’s shop on Heath Mill Road.
Stryx is a female-focused artist residency, studio, and exhibition facility that is tucked away in Digbeth.
It was established in 2012 to nurture and advance artists while hosting local and international collaborations and one of the best art galleries in Birmingham.
The artwork is contemporary, vibrant, and unmistakably one-of-a-kind; previous exhibitions have indeed been politicized & culturally sensitive, ranging from examining the symbolism and jewellery within diasporas to reflecting on consumerism via shopping bags.
1.9. Castle Fine Art Gallery
Commercial galleries can occasionally turn away art enthusiasts without a few thousand dollars on hand, but that’s not the case with the wildly popular chain Castle Fine Art, which started in the West Midlands.
This gallery of Castle Fine Art defies the stereotype that commercial galleries are intimidating to art enthusiasts without a few thousand dollars to spare.
Paul Green, the company’s founder, was determined to make galleries that anybody could enjoy, whether anyone wanted to view or buy, & that philosophy has persisted even as the number of locations has increased across the nation.
More than 20 years have passed since the International Convention Centre in Birmingham first opened its doors, making it one of the oldest gallery spaces in the city.
1.10. Grand Union
Grand Union is still a free gallery that houses eight specially designed studios for regional artists.
It is a part of the growing artistic community in & around the Minerva Works in Digbeth and comes in the best art galleries in Birmingham.
The work on display is diverse, as befits the art that has been pouring out of Eastside over the past few years, ranging from video to sculptures to audio work.
Grand Union is a gallery of modern art that offers excellent workspaces to artists to promote their professional growth.
The fact that the Grand Union is a bustling, active place where professional artists toil away behind the scenes is what makes it so appealing.
1.11. St. Paul’s Gallery
St. Paul’s Gallery, the largest reseller of autographed music-related art in the world, is concealed on an unassuming street close to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
St. Paul’s features a sizable online collection that is accessible to consumers worldwide, in addition to a gallery packed to the gills with sculptures, photographs, vinyl covers, and album artwork.
This huge collection of works, the bulk of which are hand autographed by iconic musicians, will appeal to music lovers and followers of greats like David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones.
The gallery offers amazing investment opportunities for collectors, including rare limited-edition prints of pictures and a selection of limited-edition fine art by artists.
This hidden gem in Birmingham will appeal to both music and art aficionados.
1.12. Whitewall Galleries
Whitewall provides art enthusiasts with a distinctive selection of top-notch fine art through its exclusive network of galleries located around the UK.
Birmingham’s Whitewall exhibits the personality and variety of the contemporary art scene in a gleaming, stylish, high-class gallery while maintaining a welcoming environment for buyers and onlookers.
The gallery also frequently conducts “meet and greet” events that provide collectors with a unique chance to meet artists and learn about their new collections.
Frequently, these events also give visitors the chance to see artwork that the artists have specially created for them.
1.13. Minerva Works
Minerva Works is a tiny industrial complex of 21 units that is situated in the Digbeth neighbourhood next to the Grand Union Canal.
Minerva Works is an important and genuinely unique component of Birmingham’s art scene since it houses a wide variety of extraordinarily skilled artistic tenants.
To offer a welcoming and forward-thinking home for Birmingham’s live performances, the live art initiative House for Waifs and Strays was founded.
2. Final Note
Birmingham is home to a strong multicultural culture, and this diversity creates a vibrant art scene with a dynamic assortment of galleries spread out around the city.
Here are the greatest locations to take in Birmingham’s abundance of artistic talent, from artist-led shows to internationally famous contemporary art institutions.