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The changing nature of childhood

Brandt 3FLS04.jpgA fascinating exhibition about the changing nature of childhood is currently on display at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. 

Children’s Lives is the first exhibition in the UK to trace the changes from 18th century to the present day, through fine art, photography and film, including work by renowned artists such as Gainsborough, Munch and Picasso. 

It also features Bill Brandt’s documentary photography (right) of the 1930s and 1940s commissioned by the Cadbury family, and Nick Hedges’ powerful photos for Shelter in the late 1970s.

These artefacts shed light on the relationships between children and their families and peers, their experiences at school, during the war and in the hands of various welfare institutions.

Much of the material featured in the exhibition has never previously been displayed, and a website is being developed which will make this material available online for the first time and provide a lasting legacy for the project. 

Children’s Lives is at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery until 10 June 2012.  

Photo credit: Bill Brandt, Bournville Village Trust Album, 1939-1943, 3.F.L.S.04Birmingham Libraries & Archives, © Bournville Village Trust.

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