As part of this refurbishment project a new permanent gallery, ‘Story of the Jewellery Quarter’, will open at the end of March 2009.
For over 200 years craftspeople in the area have produced jewellery and other precious items from the same small-scale factories and workshops. The galleries will explore why this close-knit trade became established in the area, including the impact of organisations such as the Birmingham Assay Office.
Glittering displays will reveal a broad array of locally made fine and intricate products. Visitors will learn how a prestigious silver jug was made by handling sumptuous tactile samples and hear how a retired jeweller adapted his family firm to meet the changing tastes of fashion and economic pressures.
A new Temporary Exhibition Gallery will display a wide range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
The new Tearoom offers sandwiches, hot drinks and mouth-watering traditional cakes. The delightful refurbished courtyard will provide outdoor seating in the summer months.
Birmingham is still very much at the forefront of jewellery manufacture in Britain, and the museum shop showcases the work of the city’s most exciting new designers along with a wide variety of gifts, books, greeting cards and souvenirs.