Birmingham’s artsy bits…
Our walking tours of the city look at public artworks that are all around us. This page moves us to the east side of Birmingham where public art mixes with graffiti art and industrial architecture in the most exciting way.
Saturday mornings - a walk!
Centenary Square
Edward VII Albert Toft, 1913 This Carrara marble commemoration of ‘Bertie’ which was originally in Victoria Square, then spent some time in Highgate Park in Sparkbrook and storage, before coming back to Centenary Square. Bertie’s excesses as a populist Prince of Wales, and then finally King after the death of Queen Victoria, included gambling and notorious infidelity. Despite this he remained popular with the general public who contributed to the statue through a memorial fund organised by the Birmingham Mail in 1910. The three brass castings around the plinth were stolen in 1985 and replacements were paid for by the Birmingham Civic Society. Quite what relevance Bertie has to today’s city is perhaps open to debate as public art and it’s meaning in our modern lived is reviewed.
‘Peace’ is one of three peices of cast bronze which are replicas the originals being stolen during the time the manument was in Highgate Park in Sparkbrook
‘Education fostering progress’
Albert Toft (1862-1949): Birmingham born and trained before being apprenticed to Wedgwood pottery as a modeller. Then trained in London where he had a studio.
Industry and Genius David Patten, 1990 A tribute to John Baskerville on the site of his former home, Easy Hill. See David’s notes on producing the art piece here….
More coming soon
New Book - November 2021 Invention & Design; Elkington of Birmingham If you enjoy the mix of industry and art that underpins so much of Birmingham’s growth and development you will love the new book: Invention & Design; Elkington of Birmingham. The book has been written and photographed by Jonathan Berg, who runs Positively Birmingham walking tours. It will be officially published in November 2021 and copies will be available as soon as the book is received from the printer, hopefully by mid-November