Collection & Archive

The Permanent Collection

The RBSA houses a Permanent Collection of over 400 works of art including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery. The Collection aims to gather and conserve objects significant to the history of the RBSA and to Birmingham’s wider artistic heritage. Most works in the Collection were executed by past and present Members and Associates of the Society. Notable artists represented include David Cox, Aubrey Beardsley, Joseph Southall and Bernard Fleetwood-Walker.

The RBSA has an ongoing acquisitions programme and the Permanent Collection continues to grow each year. Recent acquisitions include works by two of the RBSA’s nineteenth-century founders: a watercolour by Joseph Barber and a drawing by Samuel Lines Sr. The Collection’s expansion has been aided by the introduction of a donation policy for all newly elected Members. All artists who are successful in achieving Member status must submit a diploma piece to the Collection.

If you would like to arrange an appointment to view any of the works held within the RBSA’s Permanent Collection, please contact the Archive Team by email at or in writing at the address below.

The Archive Team
RBSA Gallery
4 Brook Street
St Paul's
B3 1SA

The Archive

The RBSA’s Archive comprises a number of important resources. These include the Society’s original exhibition catalogues and minute books dating back to the 1820s, as well as a collection of letters written by former Members and exhibitors at the Society. These include letters written by some of the Society’s most prestigious contacts such as Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Sir John Everett Millais and John Brett. Other resources include curatorial files, photograph albums from the nineteenth century, and several books of press cuttings.