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The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Director's Choice

Ann Sumner

ISBN: 978 1 85759 652 6
Size: 190 x 165 mm / 6.5 x 7.5 in.
Binding: softcover
Pages: 80
Images: 37

UK £9.95 / US $12.95


  • Part of Scala's Director's Choice series, a personal and engaging guide with a unique approach to works in one of the finest small picture galleries in the world
  • Each work is selected and discussed by the collection's Director


The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is widely recognised as one of the finest small picture galleries in the world, and the most representative collection of Western art assembled in Britain in the 20th century. The Barber Institute's Director, Ann Summer, offers here a charmingly personal guide to some of the collection's finest pieces, allowing us to share in her passion and enthusiasm for the world-renowned works in her care, which include Bellini's St Jerome in the Wilderness, Gainsborough's The Harvest Wagon, Van Gogh's A Peasant Woman Digging, Monet's The Church at Varengeville, Rubens' Portrait of a Carmelite Priorand Isaac Oliver's Portrait of Henry Prince of Wales.


Ann Sumner has held curatorial positions at the National Portrait Gallery, London; Holburne Museum, Bath; and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, and was Keeper at Dulwich Picture Gallery. She spent seven years as Head of Fine Art at National Museum Wales, before serving as Director and Professor of Fine Arts and Curatorial Practice at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham from 2007 to 2012. She is now Executive Director of the Bronte Paronsage Museum. 


"'Of a very different nature is Ann Sumner's highly personal account of her favourite paintings, drawings and sculptures in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham. Without being overdemonstrative or sentimental, the author reveals which works of art hold personal meanings for her and her family, alongside the development of her own aesthetic reponses to great art from the past'."
Stephen Lloyd, The Art Newspaper