Friday 23 June 2017

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, and the Pen Museum

During my week in Birmingham, I spent a lot of time in museums.

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know this is something that happens on most of my travels! I love museums big and small, and as well as exploring their exhibits I also like to support them by eating in their cafes whenever I can.

On my previous trip to Birmingham I'd spent a very short amount of time in the main Museum & Art Gallery - just enough to decide that I had to come back to the city for a longer trip so I could spend more time exploring all the exhibits!

I ended up spending so much time there on my return visit that I actually had to abandon some of my other plans for the trip. As well as exploring the permanent collection, I was lucky to be visiting during an excellent temporary exhibition devoted to William Morris & Andy Warhol. This exhibition was so fascinating (and so packed with interesting art and objects) that I visited it multiple times during the week (and all for free thanks to the magic of the Art Pass

The building itself is gorgeous - it's well worth a visit just for the architecture alone.

If you visit the museum, make sure to pop into the Edwardian Tearooms for lunch or a cuppa. The setting is fabulous, the food delicious and the service impeccable.

At the other end of the museum-size scale is Birmingham's Pen Museum: a lovely little museum, absolutely jam-packed with interesting objects relating to the city's pen trade and the history of writing.

I mean, just look at all this fabulous stuff!

I'd expected to just quickly pop in here as I worked my way around the Jewellery Quarter Heritage Trail, but ended up spending ages looking at everything and being generally delighted by it all.

Big municipal museums might have fancy buildings and famous artworks, but nothing quite beats the charm of a small museum devoted to something rather niche! The Pen Museum is just round the corner from the excellent Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, too, so you can easily fit both of them into one day.

Missed my earlier posts about my Birmingham trip? Follow the links to read about architecture, owls and the Jewellery Quarter.


bairozan said...

I love to "travel" with you! I can see places that one could miss even during an actual visit!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Funny you should say that - sharing this post on my social media I've had comments from Birmingham locals who say they never knew there was a Pen Museum! I've picked up so many great travel tips from blogs over the years, I'm very happy to be able to pass along my own tips from the places I've visited :)

Taylor Two said...

I live in Birmingham and always wondered whether the pen museum is worth a visit, so thanks for the photos it looks pretty cool actually I think I'll check it out.

Next time you're in Birmingham, do visit the iKon Gallery. Though to be honest I only really go in there for the divine art centric shop, for me the actual art on display is usually too ... errrm ... well you'll see.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Taylor Two - I hope you'll enjoy your visit to the Pen Museum! Thanks for the tip about the iKon Gallery. What is it about art gallery shops?? They always have the most irresistible stuff!!