Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s new local history galleries have been recognised as the city’s most successful heritage project of 2013.
A Birmingham Civic Society Renaissance Award blue plaque has been erected in the renovated wing of the city centre building.
Members of Birmingham Civic Society and those involved in the development of the galleries were invited to the museum to see the unveiling of the plaque by Chairman of Birmingham Museums Steve Freer and Lady Mayoress Pauline Leddy.
The redevelopment project, which was funded by Birmingham City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, enabled the museum to restore a suite of galleries, revealing architectural features which had been hidden for decades.
The galleries give visitors the opportunity to discover the broad history of Birmingham from its origins with Peter de Birmingham, and the pivotal role it has played in creating and shaping our modern world.
From Medieval metalwork and 18th century decorative arts through to Victorian costume and objects from the two world wars, these spaces give visitors access to hundreds of artefacts, many of which have never been on public display before.
Speaking at the unveiling, Steve Freer, Chairman of Birmingham Museums said: “We are delighted to be accepting this Renaissance Award from the Birmingham Civic Society. These history galleries sum up what being in a museum is all about; using objects to tell exciting stories, displaying them in welcoming spaces and involving local audiences every step of the way.”
The History galleries at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery have attracted over a quarter of a million visitors since opening in October 2012, including international visitors and school groups.
Christine Cushing, Chair of Birmingham Civic Society, said: “The Renaissance Award recognises the most successful conservation projects in the city, and this is the sixth such award to be given by the Society. The success of this project is the marriage of the historic and the modern in a sensitive but stylish aesthetic that provides a great series of gallery spaces to tell the story of Birmingham.”