One of my hopes for 2008 has come true already. The Public Catalogue Foundation has just published the Birmingham volume, right after the recent Staffordshire volume. £20 gets you the…

“304-page volume [ that ] brings together over 2,000 paintings from 12 collections in the city of Birmingham. World-famous paintings at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and The Barber Institute feature alongside lesser-known works at the city’s three universities and the solitary painting owned by West Midlands Fire Service. Paintings by Birmingham-born artists, such as Burne-Jones, sit side by side with masterpieces by Bellini, Gainsborough, Degas and Howard Hodgkin. This full-colour catalogue enables the public to gain a unique insight into Birmingham’s rich artistic and intellectual heritage.”