All the World's a Stage: Court, Patrons & Writers in Shakespeare's Circle

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Friday 10 June (10:00) - Sunday 25 September 2016 (17:00)

For further information see the Barber website.

All the worlds a stage. contensis
Plaster cast after Gerard Johnson, ‘William Shakespeare’ (c.1620) © National Portrait Gallery

Marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, this exhibition, the Barber’s first ever exploring Elizabethan art, focuses on the Bard’s chief patrons at court, and on other leading writers – rivals and associates.

Organised in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, London, it features major paintings, sculpture, miniatures and prints from the period 1590-1620, including outstanding portraits of Anne of Denmark, the Earls of Essex and Derby, Ben Jonson, John Fletcher and others, as well as iconic images of Shakespeare himself. A rare First Folio and other richly ornamented books of the time have also been lent by the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Research Library. Co-curated by Masters’ students from the University’s Department of History of Art, Curating and Visual Studies the show explores how artists construct character through portraiture, while delving into the lively world of the court during a golden age of British cultural history.