Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) has won £4.8 million worth of lottery money to create a Birmingham History wing which will look into the city’s development and the history of its people, it was announced today.
We would like to congratulate the gallery on this great news, which promises more visitors coming to the museum to find out more about Birmingham’s historical heritage.
The money came from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of £9.7 million put towards the ‘Birmingham – A City in the Making’ project, which is said to get underway in 2010.
Enthusiasm for this new wing is equally shared by the leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby. He said:
“This is excellent news. Competition for this funding is fierce, so I’d like to congratulate our museums service and thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for its support.
“This exciting project will tell the story of Birmingham’s great global history to both local people and visitors, keeping a fascinating period of our history alive for generations to come.”
“We’re talking about a unique collection of objects dating from 1500 to the present day. The collection represents our manufacturing tradition, the diverse communities found here in Birmingham and the continuing growth of our great city.”
The head of Heritage Lottery Fund Anne Jenkins said Birmingham’s vibrant and multicultural history would be reflected in the new wing. Rita McLean, Head of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery said:
“This announcement recognises the need for a project that tells the story of Birmingham – a project that will be of long term benefit to the gallery and its visitors.”
There is currently an exhibition of Birmingham-focused photography at the museum called ‘Birmingham Seen’. The exhibition looks at how Birmingham artists and photographers have portrayed the city over the years and features some magnificent insights into how the city used to look, and might have looked. Chris Unitt wrote this blogpost about the exhibition this week over on Created in Birmingham.
There is no doubt this wing will bring fresh insight and possibly mind-blowing accounts of how the city has changed over the years. For a feel of how this might change your mind, just watch this video showing how the 1960s Birmingham Library was erected, made by 7inch Cinema.
The museum was also the centre of attention earlier this year when it displayed some rare gold found near Lichfield called ‘The Staffordshire Hoard’.
BMAG will also launch a new exhibition called ‘Brilliantly Birmingham’ on Friday for its 10th year – showcasing some of Birmingham’s contemporary jewellery.