Birmingham Museums Trust has launched a public fundraising campaign to support the conservation of two of Birmingham’s star treasures.
The Star of Bethlehem and the Holy Grail Tapestries are the focus of Birmingham Museums’ Conservation Appeal. The appeal aims to raise £25,000 towards the cost of conserving the artworks so they can be protected for future generations to enjoy.
Edward Burne-Jones’ The Star of Bethlehem is the world’s largest watercolour, and it has been on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for 130 years. Its fragile glazing needs replacing, and the painting requires careful assessment and conservation. Measuring approximately 8ft by 12ft, The Star of Bethlehem has not moved in decades and due to the fragile, thin original Victorian glazing the painting cannot be inspected, conserved or redisplayed due to a high risk of the glazing shattering and damaging the art.
The delicate Holy Grail tapestries, also designed by Edward Burne-Jones with John Henry Dearle and William Morris are at serious risk of weakening and tearing. All six tapestries were last on display in 2015 but they are now carefully stored away to safeguard them. They are one of the outstanding achievements of the Arts and Crafts movement, and the most extensive decorative scheme that the firm of Morris & Co. completed. To protect them conservation needs to be undertaken by specialists to clean and reline the tapestries.
To support the conservation of these two fabulous artworks from Birmingham’s collections visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/BurneJones