Turning to See: From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud

28 May 2016 – 4 Sep 2016

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry


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Acquired for the nation in 2014, Sir Anthony van Dyck’s last self-portrait takes centre stage in this striking exhibition exploring the concepts of physical and metaphorical turning in portraiture.


This is the first ever exhibition curated by West Midlands born and internationally renowned artist, John Stezaker, who takes Van Dyck’s dramatic turned pose as his starting point.

Showcasing major loans from the National Portrait Gallery alongside highlights from Birmingham’s collection, the display will create a spectacle of turning in the gallery and will mirror the way the viewer moves around the space.

From Rembrandt and Rossetti to Picasso and Bomberg, 'Turning to See' is filled with celebrated names from art history. There’s also the chance to view new collages by Stezaker and fragile works on paper not normally on display, such as Burne-Jones’ sketches for the Pygmalion series from Birmingham’s collection.

Organised in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, with support from the Art Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.


John Stezaker

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Sarah Lucas

Sarah Lucas

David Bomberg

John Everett Millais

Frank Auerbach

Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud

Edward Burne-Jones

Aubrey Beardsley

Gustave Courbet

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Augustus John

Rembrandt Van Rijn

Helen Chadwick

Man Ray

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Anthony van Dyck

Gillian Wearing

Gillian Wearing

Louise Bourgeois

John Stezaker

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Taking part

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

London, United Kingdom

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