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West Midlands

West Midlands (including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton). It has a population of around 2,700,000 and covers approximately 90,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire.

County flag of West MidlandsThe term West Midlands is used to describe both the county, which was established in 1974, and the larger region of which it forms a part, which can be confusing. The county of the West Midlands has within it seven metropolitan boroughs, which are Solihull, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell, along with the cities of Coventry, Wolverhampton and the largest Birmingham. Since Medieval times the area produced textiles and metalwork and the industrial revolution led to the growth of manufacturing industries, which also helped to support graphic design, product design and printing businesses. Performing arts venues in West Midlands include Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Birmingham Hippodrome, the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham, the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton and the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham. The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham is a venue for a wide range of events, including concerts and trade shows which attract audiences from across the UK and overseas.

During the Victorian period, the Birmingham School of Art and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists played an important role in the Arts and Crafts movement and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. During the 20th century, local artists were prominent in surrealism, abstract art, pop art and photo-realism and a number of Turner Prize winners were born in Birmingham. Work created by the artist David Cox, who was born in the city in 1783 and died there in 1859, represents an early form of impressionism and examples of his work can be seen in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The museum and gallery has many thousands of exhibits, including paintings by other renowned artists from the 14th to 21st centuries, as well as ceramics, jewellery, metalwork and artefacts of local historical interest. Other attractions in West Midlands include the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham Back to Backs, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Wightwick Manor and Gardens, Bantock House Museum in Wolverhampton, the Pen Museum in Birmingham, Coventry Cathedral, Aston Hall and Sandwell Valley Country Park.

Robert Radford Welch

(Born 1929 in Hereford in West Midlands), Silversmith

Welch trained as a silversmith in Birmingham but was influenced by the modernism of Scandinavian designs and created clean and functional designs.

Edward Coley Burne-jones

(Born 1833 in Birmingham in West Midlands), Ceramics, Jewellery, Painting, Stained glass

Burne-Jones was a major player in the revival of stained glass in Briton, during his time with and as a founder of Morris, Marshal, Faulkner and co.

Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Sir

(Born 1833 in Birmingham in West Midlands), Art, Design

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, the English artist and designer was one of the seven-member brotherhood of the Pre-Raphaelites

Benjamin Williams Leader

(Born 1831 in Worcester in West Midlands), Painting

Benjamin Williams Leader, English artist, was known for his landscape paintings.