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Indepth Arts News:

"Brilliantly Birmingham: Museum of the Jewellery Quarter"
2001-11-10 until 2001-12-31
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham, , UK

Brilliantly Birmingham, the annual fair celebrating Birmingham's jewellery making heritage and its contemporary jewellery makers, opens on November 10th 2001.

Venues across the city will come together with a collection of exhibitions, workshops, displays and the chance to buy some of the jewellery on show. Walking tours of Birmingham's famous jewellery quarter will be available and for the first time in 50 years the traditional style Jeweller's Ball will return to the city, with a contemporary twist, with a chance for makers to parade their wares and mingle with their peers.

The annual celebration is a chance for the city to promote the Jewellery Quarter's reputation as the largest centre for jewellery making in Europe and raise the profile of the up and coming makers that are the quarter's hidden talent.

Visitors will be able to attend free workshops on jewellery making at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Christmas tree decoration hanging at the mac and have the chance to buy contemporary jewellery at venues around the city.

Built around the preserved workshops and offices of Smith and Pepper, a Birmingham jewellery firm, the award-winning Museum of the Jewellery Quarter offers a fascinating insight into the city's historic jewellery trade. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour around the perfectly preserved 'time capsule' factory - little changed since the beginning of the century - and see a skilled jeweller at work.

In addition to the factory tour, the Museum's exhibition galleries tell the story of the Quarter and the jeweller's craft which has been practised in this distinctive part of Birmingham for over 200 years. The museum brings the story right up to date by showcasing jewellery made by some of the city's most exciting contemporary designers.

The Museum is divided into two parts - the new extension (No 79 Vyse St) containing exhibition galleries, reception area and shop, and the old Smith & Pepper factory (Nos 77-78). [A third building, Nos 75-79, contains the museum café, temporary exhibiton space, offices and a meeting/education room]


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