Ahead of launching the first edition of Midlands Art Papers in October, we have had the opportunity to see some of the West Midlands galleries object files, as well as their storage collections, as part of our research.
The first purpose of our trips was to view the object files of some of the research pieces. At Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, whilst a few bits of useful information were uncovered, the files were pretty thin, not giving a lot away. In one way this is a good thing, because the purpose of our project is to research art objects of which little is known about by the galleries. The object file at The New Art Gallery Walsall contained more information than expected, considering how hard it is to find anything written about the artist. The artist’s correspondence with another researcher provided more details about the painting, as well as further paths of research to explore. Having access to information not available online or in a public library is an exhilarating part of research.
The second purpose of our visit was to view some paintings which will included in the first edition of MAP. Viewing paintings first hand is an important part of research, so we felt privileged to have access to these paintings not currently on display. It was fascinating to see how the paintings are stored, tucked away behind locked doors.
Going behind the scenes at BMAG and Walsall was both an exciting experience and one which will be invaluable to researchers when completing our articles for the first edition of Midlands Art Papers.