The Barber Institute of Fine Arts


Opening soon!
The Rhythm of Light
Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection
Opens 16 February





ABove: SJ Peploe, Luxembourg Gardens, c.1910 © Fleming-Wyfold Art Collection


For our first exhibition of 2018, we are delighted to be showing together the four artists known collectively as the ‘Scottish Colourists' – SJ Peploe, JD Fergusson, FCB Cadell and Leslie Hunter – for the first time in the West Midlands. The Scottish Colourists, responding to the revolutionary impact of French art in the early 20th century, produced some of the most vibrant images of their day. Their cityscapes, still lifes and landscapes reveal a preoccupation with light, rhythm – and, of course, colour.

For more on the exhibition and related events, look out for our exhibition e-newsletter, coming soon.


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The Artist in Art: Portrayals of the Creative Mind
19 January – 13 May


Portraits by artists – of themselves or their fellows – are the focus of this new display from the Barber's collections of works on paper. Three centuries of prints from Rembrandt, Cézanne (pictured) and others appear alongside subjects including Picasso and Rodin, and show the ways in which the artists' creativity – as a practice or a character trait – has been represented

Free admission

Lecture Series Jan - March







Thursday 8 March, 5.30 – 7.15pm


The artist Lachlan Goudie takes a very personal look at the history of Scottish art. During this illustrated lecture he will trace the the development of Scottish painting, sculpture and photography from the Neolitic era to the present day.


In 2015, Lachlan wrote and present the four-part BBC4 series The Story of Scottish Art and has also appeared as a judge on the BBC's The Big Painting Challenge.


£5; £4 concs. Booking essential: Click here to book.






Tuesday 13 March, 5.30 – 7.15pm 


In October 2017 the Barber acquired the exquisite abstract Linear Construction in Space, No 1 (left), by one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, Naum Gabo.


This lecture by Russian Modernism expert Professor Christina Lodder, of the University of Kent, explores Gabo's highly innovative work, inspired by the new scientific realities of the modern world as well as the social and political possibilities of the Russian Revolution of 1917. 


£5; £4 concs. Booking essential: Click here to book.






Reynolds's Art Collection
Wednesday 18 April, 1.10 – 2pm


Joshua Reynolds's extraordinary art collection encompassed thousands of paintings, prints, drawings and books. Sold after his death in 1792, it is now dispersed across the world – including in the Barber itself. This lecture by Donato Esposito explores the collection and Reynolds's motivation for its creation.


Free, no booking required.






Thursday 26 April, 5.30 – 7.15pm


Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, discusses the organisation's major building project and the ways in which it will change the operation of the Royal Academy during its anniversary year.


£5; £4 concessions. Booking essential: Click here to book.





The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, Cheltenham




On the 15th February, we are holding a talk on Ceramics from China.

Talk 6-6.45, Refreshments 6.45-7.45pm

Tickets £12, £10 students

The Wilson boasts a collection of Chinese ceramics that spans more than 2000 years! Find out more about the collection, their collector, Stanley Berkeley Smith and our continuing links with China. Price includes a glass of wine or soft drink and nibbles. Booking is essential.

Tickets can be purchased:


On 1st March from 6-7pm, we are holding a free tour of our current exhibition, Alternative Visions. This remarkable and celebratory exhibition brings to light work by 20 previously undiscovered artists from the South West.

Free tickets can be booked here:


On Saturday 10th March, we are holding a Conservation Workshop

Come to The Wilson for this unique workshop to gain insight into some of the behind-the-scenes museum processes. Meet and discuss with our conservator about her role and the methods used on our museum pieces, then try your hand at some scaled-down conservation processes in a mock-up, using found and prepared items which require your attention.

Materials supplied. Booking essential. Tickets can be purchased:


On the Thursday 15th March we are holding a talk on Women in Print: Bridget Riley, Joan Williams, Janet Fisher and more..

Talk 6-6.45pm, refreshments 6.45-7.45pm.

Tickets £12/Students £10

Come and learn how The Wilson acquired these artworks, how the artists made them, and how we continue to look after them today so that generations can continue to enjoy these artworks tomorrow. Price includes a glass of wine or soft drink and nibbles. Booking is essential.

Tickets can be purchased here: