Birmingham Museums has today announced the captivating stories to be included in its digital content packages for March and April. From the Pre-Raphaelites to Tolkien and Constable to Jacobean architecture the monthly packages feature a wealth of art, objects and incredible tales from Birmingham’s collections. Passes are now available to buy, giving access to enthralling content created by Birmingham Museums’ experts.

The monthly pass for March offers an enjoyable exploration of the Baroque Art of Northern Europe and an insight into the War of the Three Kingdoms with an overview of the English Civil War. Also, to be discovered are the many animals hidden in the Jacobean architecture of Aston Hall, plus a leisurely stroll through railway journeys featured in artworks from Birmingham’s collections.

April’s content includes the extraordinary story of how three young students questioned and rejected academic art training to eventually become the world-renowned Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. There’s also a wander through the rural landscape of Tolkien’s childhood, the paintings of English painter, Albert Moore, and a closer look at John Constable’s remarkable study of clouds.

Alex Nicholson-Evans, Commercial Director at Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “Be it the revolutionary Pre-Raphaelites, the bold realism of Baroque art or Tolkien’s idyllic childhood landscape, there’s a wealth of compelling stories behind Birmingham’s collections.

“In a continued period of isolation for so many people - and while we’re unable to open our museums and historic properties - Birmingham Museums on Demand is a wonderful opportunity to continue access to the collections through these fascinating lectures and talks.”

The English Ship Hampton Court in a Gale by Willem van de Velde the Younger / Study of Clouds by John Constable

Birmingham Museums on Demand gives access to exclusive digital content created by in-house experts. Launched in February this year, this brand-new digital service creates monthly packages featuring the fascinating stories behind Birmingham’s collections available online to watch anytime, anywhere in the world.

Viewers can purchase a one-month Birmingham Museums on Demand pass costing £20. Each month a new package of four exclusive talks and lectures created by Birmingham Museums will be released. Both Members and Patrons of Birmingham Museums receive a discount of 25%. All proceeds go towards supporting Birmingham Museums Trust, helping to conserve its historic sites and world class collections.

Birmingham Museums on Demand monthly passes are available to buy at

Birmingham Museums on Demand – March

The Art of the Baroque, Northern Europe
In this lecture Jane Hornby looks at Birmingham Museum’s magnificent collection of Baroque art focussing on 17th century Northern Europe and the work of artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Lorrain and Willem van de Velde.

The War of the Three Kingdoms: an overview to civil war in the British Isles (1630-1660)
Civil wars are violent, transformative, shocking events which ripple through a nation and its people. In the 1630s the first stirrings of war rang out in Scotland, but quickly spread through Ireland, England and Wales in a series of conflicts which brought death and destruction to a largely peaceful populace.

In this lecture, Rik Sowden explores some of the origins and reasons for the conflict in Britain, focusing particularly on the first English Civil War (1642-1646).

Railway Journeys in Art
Jane Hornby takes a closer look at Railway Journeys in Art. Jane will discuss three amazing paintings that hang in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery by artists Augustus Leopold Egg, David Cox and Charles Rossiter.

Beasts at Aston Hall
Rik Sowden reveals the myriad of animals in the architecture at Aston Hall, including those in family crests, paintings, carvings, fireplaces and more.

Birmingham Museums on Demand – April

The Pre-Raphaelites – A Revolutionary Art, part one
Political upheaval and revolution in Europe in 1848 coincided with the formation in England of a revolutionary art movement – the Pre-Raphaelites. 

Birmingham Museums Trust holds the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art anywhere in the world.  The collection has over 3,000 paintings, drawings, prints and examples of decorative art and design. 

In this lecture Jane Hornby will look at how three young students at the Royal Academy Schools – John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt – questioned and rejected academic art training by forming the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, producing works of art that faced early criticism.

A Landscape of Memory - J.R.R Tolkien and Sarehole Mill

How far did the landscape of his childhood influence J.R.R Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and why did a small hamlet just outside of Birmingham, with its corn mill, green fields and woods hold such a great influence over the author? How much can this small, rural idyll be claimed as the inspiration for The Shire?

This lecture, by Wayne Dixon, will also look at how memory and place also shaped Tolkien’s world as well as the destruction of his childhood home and the profound impression it made on him.

The Paintings of Albert Moore
Albert Moore was one of the most remarkable artists of the 19th Century and one of the leaders of the aesthetic movement. Join Jane Hornby as she explores his works including Sapphires, Birds and Dreamers.

John Constable’s Clouds
Museum Manager, Wayne Dixon takes a closer look at John Constable’s study of Clouds and how he was influenced by the naturalistic paintings of Jacob van Ruisdael and the studio landscapes of Thomas Gainsborough.