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Contemporary ‘industrialists’ gather to mark 130 years of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

The modern day counterparts of the original founders of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery marked the 130th anniversary of its opening with a special reception last night, hosted by Birmingham Museums Trust.

Guests including the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Raymond Hassall, Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire, Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, and John Clancy were welcomed by director Dr Ellen McAdam and the Trustees of Birmingham Museums Trust.

“This museum was created by Birmingham’s Victorian leaders of industry and politicians to provide a fantastic cultural resource for the working people of Birmingham – a museum that opened during the weekend so that those who worked Monday to Friday could experience and enjoy the collections, and which would hold an internationally important collection of art and antiquities,” comments Dr Ellen McAdam.

“As part of our anniversary celebrations, we wanted to pay tribute to the people who continue to support the museum today, from our Lord Mayor and corporate donors to Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council, and it is entirely appropriate that this gathering happens a few days after our ‘public’ birthday party, when we welcomed thousands of visitors for free hands-on fun, just as the museum’s founders would have wished,” she adds.

The guests were invited to take a look around the museum’s newest galleries, including the Mini Museum, a space created for pre-school children and their parents. They were also given a tour of the special exhibition celebrating the 130th anniversary, featuring many iconic items from the museum’s 800,000 item collection.

For more information about the latest exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, please visit www.birminghammuseums.org.uk

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