The MA History of Art programme is to benefit from a unique 3-year partnership agreement that has just been secured between the Barber Institute and the National Portrait Gallery, involving the loan of touring exhibitions from the Gallery to the Barber.

Students will co-curate each exhibition as an accredited module of the MA degree. The MA programme already has an established tradition of providing students with invaluable practical experience of all aspects of curating an exhibition in the Barber, but this partnership with a prestigious national collection significantly widens the opportunities available, since the students will be able to visit the National Portrait Gallery collections and work with its staff. The first exhibition of this series is Facing the Music, which opens on 25 May 2012. Focusing on portraits of 20th-century British composers, the exhibition includes works by, amongst others, John Singer Sargent, Christopher Wood, Cecil Beaton, David Hockney and Tom Phillips.