Birmingham Central Library

Birmingham, UK


The Disappointed Tourist: Birmingham Central Library, Ellen Harvey, 2024. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Birmingham Central Library was the main public library from 1974 until 2013, when it was demolished and replaced by the new Library of Birmingham. It replaced a prior library that had opened in in 1865 and rebuilt in 1882 (which was also submitted for the Disappointed Tourist project). It was designed by architect John Madin in the brutalist style and the library was praised for its stark aesthetics. English Heritage applied and failed twice for the building to be listed due to position from the Birmingham City Council. I don’t know who took the photograph on which this painting is based.

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