This year Victorian art seems to be gripping the imagination of British museum curators, if not the general public. Following the spate of exhibitions organised to honour the centenary of Lord Leighton’s death earlier this year, and opening in the same month as the Victoria and Albert’s William Morris retrospective (see p.11), yet another major show celebrates the achievements of Pre-Raphaelite artists. “Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite art from the Birmingham collection, England” at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (25 May-29 September) marks the return of 120 paintings, drawings, sculpture and stained glass by artists including Madox Brown, Rossetti, Hughes and Burne-Jones from a tour of the United States. Drawn from Birmingham Museum’s extensive permanent collection of Pre-Raphaelite art which includes the largest holdings of Pre-Raphaelite drawings in this country, the exhibition, curated by Stephen Wildman, was seen last year in Seattle, Cleveland, Wilmington, Houston and Atlanta by 200,000 paying visitors. The museum will continue its celebration of Pre-Raphaelite centenaries with “William Morris re-visited” (26 October-31 January 1997), recently seen at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester and currently at the Craft Council Gallery in London (2 May-30 June). Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham. Tel: +44 (0) 121 235 2834.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Year of the Pre-Raphaelite?'