Last chance to see the Poetry of Drawing exhibition

By on 07/05/2011 in Culture, News

Art lovers in the UK have only one week left to see the magnificent Pre-Raphaelite exhibition The Poetry of Drawing at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery before it tours to The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

The critically-acclaimed exhibition, which is the most comprehensive survey of Pre-Raphaelite drawings and watercolours ever staged, is on display in Birmingham until 15 May.

It will then travel to Australia and open at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney from 17 June - 4 September 2011, itself the home of an important collection of 19th century art including significant Pre-Raphaelite and High Victorian paintings.

Amongst the works travelling to Australia will be five preparatory drawings by Ford Madox Brown for Chaucer at the Court of Edward III.  These will be displayed alongside the enormous finished painting, which is nearly four metres high and rarely travels, for the first time.

The exhibition brings together works from Birmingham's world-class collections of Pre-Raphaelite and later nineteenth-century art, some of them rarely seen, alongside key loans from public and private lenders.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were a group of radical young artists led by Rossetti, Millais and Holman Hunt, who banded together in the mid 19th century and revolutionised British art. They challenged the art of their day and helped shape later movements such as Aestheticism, Symbolism and Art Nouveau.

The exhibition explores the role of drawing and design in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, their associates and followers. The show also includes work by artists influenced by the Brotherhood and a rare opportunity to compare textiles, stained glass and ceramics by designers, including William Morris and William de Morgan alongside their original working drawings.

Amongst the works on display for the first time is Rossetti's brooding Mnemosyne (1876, private collection), a large-scale pastel depicting Jane Morris, the artist's favourite model during the last years of his life.

The work remained in Rossetti's studio until his death and has never previously been exhibited.

While drawing is often regarded as being secondary to painting, this exhibition will explore how for the Pre-Raphaelites it was central to the activity of making art.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said: “The popularity and critical acclaim for The Poetry of Drawing exhibition has shown that Birmingham's world-class museums and   collections are something we should be proud of.  The success of this show has raised the city's profile as a cultural destination and centre of excellence for the arts.”

Tickets for The Poetry of Drawing are £6 adults, £5 senior citizens and students, £2 income support/unwaged and children 5-16, £12 family (up to 2
adults, 2 children); under 5s admitted free.   For booking further information please visit or call 0121 303 1966.

The exhibition is accompanied by book, 'Pre-Raphaelite Drawing' by Colin Cruise, published by Thames & Hudson.

Exhibition has been organised by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.  The exhibition and accompanying book are supported by:

  • The City of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Development Trust
  • The Limoges Trust
  • The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
  • The William A. Cadbury Charitable Trust


Media Contact: Jason Lewis: , tel: 0121 303 4266

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