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About the Herbert

Previous Exhibitions

Through Other Eyes

Contemporary Art from South Asia

Through Other Eyes features drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, films and prints by emerging artists from India and Pakistan. Recent work by contemporary folk and tribal artists is presented alongside that of recent art school graduates in an attempt to challenge our assumptions about what we define as ‘contemporary art’. None of the works have been shown outside India or Pakistan before.

Curated by Gérard Mermoz, the exhibition shows artists redefining their place in the world. The works have been created at a crucial stage in the cultural life of India and Pakistan, with each artist negotiating the legacy of their respective regional cultural traditions and the rising pressure to embrace globalisation as an emblem of progress, modernity and a better future. The work was selected by Mermoz during a three month journey which took him from Kochi to Lahore via Bangalore, Mumbai, Bhopal, Baroda, Dehli, Kolkata and Santiniketan.

The exhibition includes a painting by Gond tribe artist Durgabai Vyam which depicts the Bhopal Carbide factory disaster in which a chemical leak killed and maimed thousands of people in one night in 1984, and continues to poison the local people and their environment. Ved Gupta's figures of masked businessmen in suits present a satirical view of India's new middle classes and their materialistic aspirations which contrast with the dire poverty of those who have not benefited from globalisation. Vidya Kamat's digital photography and lightbox piece Birth.Mark questions the construction of the feminine body and cultural identity. A new miniature tradition emerging from the National College of Art in Lahore is represented through a number of works specially commissioned for this exhibition.

Through Other Eyes provides an opportunity for British audiences to gain up-to-the minute insights into the preoccupations of the rising generations.

Through Other Eyes is supported by Arts Council England.

Tour dates: 
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum: 23 January – 19 April 2009 
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea: 9 May – 5 July 2009 
Aberystwyth Arts Centre: 16 January – 27 February 2010 
The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire: 15 June – 15 August 2010 
Tour ended

Keeping Up Appearances

Fashion Through Two World Wars 1900 - 1950s

Using fascinating examples from the Herbert's extensive costume collection, this exhibition explores the changes in women's clothing and social roles in the decades between 1900 and 1960.

The exhibition focuses on how women's lives were shaped by the clothes they wore, and how these evolved in line with dramatic changes in the world around them. It is complemented by a range of underwear, menswear, uniforms, and accessories from the Herbert's collection.

Archive photography and oral history from the period bring the clothes to life and contrast women's experiences throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Tour dates:
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum: 21 September 2013 - 5 January 2014
The Oxfordshire Museum: 10 January – 12 April 2015

This tour has now ended.

Caught in the Crossfire

Artistic responses to conflict, peace and reconciliation.

Caught in the Crossfire explores how artists grapple with both the brutality of war and desire for peace.

This exhibition of modern and contemporary art takes the viewer on a challenging journey from the home front to the front line and back again, as seen through the eyes of artists, soldiers and people affected by conflict.

The exhibition is arranged thematically under the headings of Front Line, Machines of War, Lines of Division, Protest and Aftermath. It contains paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, mixed media and sculpture.

Drawn from the Herbert’s collections and loans from other private and public collections, Caught in the Crossfire includes work by Terry Atkinson, Banksy, Muirhead Bone, Iftikhar Dadi & Nalini Malani, Al Johnson, John Keane, kennardphillipps, Langlands & Bell, Cornelia Parker, Jamal Penjweny and many more.

Caught in the Crossfire is co-curated by the Herbert and freelance curator Nicola Gauld. It has been produced through the Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures project in partnership with Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Tour dates:
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum: 25 January – 7 July 2013
Museen der Stadt Dresden: 5 July - 5 October 2014
Guildford House Gallery: 31 January – 1 March 2015
Exhibition available from March 2015 to December 2016

If you are interested in hiring this exhibition or would like more information, please download the Herbert Touring pack below, or email

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