Herbert Art Gallery and History Museum is situated on University Square across from the old and new Cathedral.
The building’s original, brutalist structure is masked by a sloping, timber diagrid roof which covers a glass-clad extension. The building houses exhibits on natural history, on Coventry’s social and economic history and on archaeological finds in and around Coventry: plus there’s an art gallery on the upper floor. The city’s archive is also situated in the building’s basement below the arcade and galleries.
On arrival, I was told that the building was being evacuated due to a fire alarm.
I located Jessica amid a throng of evacuees and introduced myself and explained to her about what I was doing.
Before too long everyone was allowed back inside The Herbert and Jessica gave to the assemblage a pink coloured badge that bids for Coventry as 2021’s UK City of Culture. and sent me to see the brilliant Sally at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.
Jessica said that she knew most of the people who I’d already met and for amusement wrote out a list of people in her friend circle who she expected may appear in my picture frame.
Let’s see if they do!
I asked Jessica if she had a favourite display and she led me upstairs to the sculpture gallery and showed me an piece by Ved Gupta titled ‘The Men: Life Un(der)covered’ – a satirical work in which three plump businessmen with masked faces hold their arms aloft as if they’re being robbed or caught as robbers.
Jessica said she enjoyed watching visitors join the three figures and hold up their hands in order to be captured by a camera.