First students to work with Royal Collection Trust

Five Birmingham MA students are the first in the world to co-curate an art exhibition with the Royal Collection, through a unique three-year partnership with The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the University of Birmingham.

Birmingham's Art History and Curating students visited Windsor Castle during reading week to select around 25 drawings from the Renaissance to the Baroque, lent by Her Majesty the Queen. 

These internationally important drawings offer key insights into how the Old Masters put a painting together. They were used as mock ups when taking a commission for a new work, so patrons knew exactly what they were going to get, or as prep work for small sections of a huge work – gathering all the ingredients for the full composition. 

Lecturer Dr Claire Jones says: 'It is an amazing opportunity for our students, who benefit not only from working with professional gallery staff to create a public exhibition, but who now have the privilege of working with one of the world’s most significant art collections.'

Katerina Nakatsiadi, one of the MA Art History and Curating students, says: 'Going behind the scenes of the Royal Collection, selecting these beautiful and fascinating drawings – and then working with them to produce an exhibition – has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we can’t wait to see it take shape in the Barber. For those of us taking our first steps as curators, it has been a momentous opportunity.'

Drawn to Perfection: Masterworks on Paper from the Royal Collection opens at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts from 15 June 2018 and runs until 23 September.