Midlands Art Papers 5 (2022)

Midlands Art Papers is a collaborative online journal, working between the University of Birmingham and 13 partner institutions to research and explore the world class works of art and design in public collections across the Midlands.   

Editorial: Art, Empire and the Commonwealth Games Snuff box with enamel lid with painting of harbour with ships (1750-55)

To mark the arrival of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, this special issue of Midlands Art Papers explores the connections between art, manufacture and empire in collections across the region.

South Asian Pottery and Kipling connections close up detail of a pot from the Potteries Museum

Curator of Arts Samantha Howard explores connections between the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery’s collection of South Asian pottery, India and Stoke-on-Trent through these objects' association with the art school administrator John Lockwood Kipling.

Enter Two Zoos Detail of a bronze rhinoceros

Storyteller Alison Solomon responds to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts exhibition Miss Clara and the Celebrity Beast in Art, 1500-1860 (November 2021 to February 2022), drawing connections between colonialism and the exhibition of people and animals.

Art and the Commonwealth Games at Wolverhampton Art Gallery Detail of Eugene Palmer's painting Duppy Shadow (1994) of a woman standing in the countryside

For our special issue, Maddy Clark has created a Midlands Art Trail of works held at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, themed around the Commonwealth Games. This trail will take you on a journey exploring connections between art, imperialism and its legacies, and sporting cultures.

In Conversation: Tara Munroe on the Lost Leicester Casta Paintings Mexican School, De español y negra se produce un mulato (From Spanish and Black a mulatto is produced) (c.1700-1800), oil on canvas, 104 x 145 cm ©Leicester Museum and Art Gallery/Opal 22 Arts and Edutainment.

In 2009, Tara Munroe – curator and creative director of Opal 22 Arts and Edutainment – found five remarkable paintings in the store rooms at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. MAP special issue editor Kate Nichols spoke to Tara earlier in 2022 to find out more about these images and their connection to society today, how they ended up in the Midlands, and how Tara plans to curate them.