BIR

Birmingham (Royal Birmingham Society of Artists)

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists is one of the oldest Art Societies in the UK. As early as 1807, Samuel Lines opened an Academy teaching students, several of whom became famous in the art world.  In 1812, other pioneers such as J.V. Barber came together to study from the living model, eventually exhibiting their work in 1814 under the patronage of such famous alumni as Benjamin West, J.M.W.Turner, John Flaxman, Joseph Heath and John Sloane.  In 1821, the Birmingham Society of Artists was formed, whose objective was to establish a museum for works of art, provide facilities for students, hold public exhibitions and extend art education in the city of Birmingham. From 1822 to 1912 the Society met in a beautiful Corinthian style gallery, sadly now demolished. In 1868 Queen Victoria granted the Society Royal status, and it has held annual exhibitions with minor interruptions during the war years ever since.  The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists played an important part in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Sir John Everett Millais and Sir Edward Burne-Jones, both PRB members, served as presidents of the RBSA. Other well known presidents were Lord Leighton and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.  Having purchased Dakota House in St. Paul's Square, The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists now displays the best of Midlands' Artists and Craftsmen.  There are two Galleries displaying a changing programme of work by Members, Associates, Friends and Visiting Exhibitions. These will be available for rent by Artists, Craftsmen or Societies, subject to availability and approval.  The RBSA building also features a Craft Gallery and Workshops in all mediums. All floors are accessible by lift, providing excellent access for the disabled. Dakota House is also a stimulating venue for corporate entertaining, private functions, lectures or meetings.