At the Barber I’ve been working with two projects. I’ve been helping the Learning & Access team out, as I wrote about earlier, but I’ve also been working on the database and the files for the artworks. This has been interesting, since I’ve gotten to see what kind of provenance material and what kind of communications and exhibitions different objects have/have been part of. Some of the works that I’ve found most interesting I’ve also gotten to write about for the Barber’s official website, where some of them have just been published. You can see them here, here, here and here.

barber6
Material for the 1520s stained glass design by Hans Holbein, including a 1955 Sotheby’s Auction catalogue for the sale of this sketch.

Going through and organising this material has been educational and fun, since I’ve gotten to read correspondence from the 1930s and onwards, see how museums communicate with each other about loans &c. My favourite ones to write about have been a stained glass design by Tudor court artist Hans Holbein the younger, an illustration for Alexander Pope’s mock-heroic poem The Rape of the Lock by 19th century artist Aubrey Beardsley and a sketch of the Madonna and Child by Gaudenzio Ferrari.

Beaux&Belles
“The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles” by Aubrey Beardsley. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, The University of Birmingham.
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