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Past exhibition

22 May – 1 September 2013

Admission free
Location: Room 1

An outstanding collection of Old Master and 19th-century paintings is on display at the National Gallery as part of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts anniversary celebrations.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham, a research partner of the National Gallery, is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a year-long programme of activity in 2013.

As part of these commemorations ‘Birth of a Collection’ explores the first 12 Old Master and 19th-century paintings Professor Thomas Bodkin acquired for the Henry Barber Trust whilst in post as the Barber Institute's original director (1935–52).

During the construction of the Barber Institute (1936–9) most of the paintings were loaned to, and displayed or stored at, the National Gallery, thanks to the support and friendship of the Gallery’s brilliant young director, Kenneth Clark.

For the first time in over 70 years the exhibition reunites this group of exceptional paintings in Trafalgar Square. Old Master paintings in the loan include works by Simone Martini, Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano, Frans Hals and Nicolas Poussin. From the 19th century are masterpieces by Joseph Mallord William Turner, Claude Monet and Edouard Manet.

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Exhibition organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.