European Art Society

European Art Society

The European Art Society was established in 2001 to further awareness and appreciation of thirteenth-century to early twentieth-century painting, sculpture, and works on paper. The group is devoted to the continued growth and development of the Museum’s collection, and to educating its members about European art in general, and the Museum’s collection specifically. Regular European Art Society events include the annual dinner, when members vote for an acquisition for the permanent collection; sneak previews and curator-led tours of all European art exhibitions and gallery reinstallations; enlightening connoisseurship sessions with leading experts; lunchtime lectures; and domestic and international travel opportunities.

$500 per member
$250 per junior member (under 40)

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Upcoming Events

March 9-17, 2016unnamed

The EAS is planning a very special trip to Europe to visit important Old Master Collections and more in Aachen, Cologne, Amsterdam, Maastricht, and The Hague. A highlight of the trip will be a visit to TEFAF, The European Fine Art Fair, the eminent fair for Old Masters. The trip will take place March 9-17, 2016.

Our unique itinerary includes fascinating excursions in Holland and Germany. Among many other highlights, we will visit Aachen Cathedral, the burial site of Emperor Charlemagne, and the magnificent Cologne Cathedral, one of Europe’s greatest Gothic churches; in Amsterdam we will visit the Rijksmuseum and also have the rare opportunity to visit the outstanding Jan Six Collection; in The Hague we well explore the Mauritshuis and its many famous paintings, including Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring.

For more information please contact Bethany McClellan at or 205-254-2567.

SAVE THE DATE // Tuesday, March 29th // EAS ANNUAL DINNER

Lunch and Learn
Wednesday, April 20
BMA Library

We will explore a late medieval, illustrated prayer book in the BMA’s collection. Together, we will leaf through the pages of this important example of late medieval piety!

We will then have lunch in Oscar’s Café.

Please RSVP to Bethany McClellan at or 205-254-2567.


Please save the date for a joint trip with the Collectors Circle to Minneapolis, June 2-5, 2016!
The program will focus on contemporary and European art and will include visits to TheMinneapolis Institute of Art, The Walker Art Center, and the Midwest Art Conservation Center, where BMA paintings are currently being treated.

More details with sign-up information coming soon.

Recent Events

First Thursday Express Tour
Thursday, February 4, 2016
BMA European Galleries and Members Room

Join EAS members for a private viewing of the newly reframed Jacob van Ruisdael painting Winter Landscape. After, we will meet in the Members Room for lights snacks and drinks.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
EAS day trip the High Museum of Art

Travel with EAS members to see the High Museum’s special exhibition Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collection before it closes!

Visiting Habsburg Splendor is a not to be missed opportunity to see an outstanding selection of paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, antiquities, costumes, and arms and armor from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. Masterpieces by Giorgione, Titian, Correggio, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, and more are on view, and have never been exhibited in North America.

The group will depart at 8:30AM for the High Museum, have lunch in the Museum’s cafe, Table 1280, and enjoy a guided tour of Habsburg Splendor.  We will spend time in the permanent collection before returning to Birmingham. Expected arrival: 5:00 p.m.

To sign up, please contact Bethany McClellan at or 205.254.2567.

Lunch and Learn
December 2, 2015
12:00 PM– 1:ooPM
Members’ Room

“What to Buy and What Not to Buy”

This Fall’s Old Master Sales in London. Members Room, Noon-1 PM.

Evening Reception
October 6, 2015
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
BMA, 8th Ave Lobby

Please join us for an evening Reception with Christopher Apostle, Senior Vice President, Head of Department, Old Master Paintings, Sotheby’s New York, who will talk with us about the current state of the Old Master paintings market and some of the exciting stories and works he has encountered during his many years in the business.

Lunch and Learn
July 1, 2015
12:00 PM– 1:ooPM
Members’ Room

Following the successful first Lunch & Learn reviewing upcoming Old Master auctions we will repeat the event turning our attention to auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London: “What to buy and what not to buy”.

Special Lecture with Paper Conservator
June 17, 2015
12:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art Members Room

SieglerThe BMA welcomes Dr. Sheila Siegler, DIC, FIIC, MAIC, who is currently a freelance paper conservator, lecturer, and science consultant. This is an event for members of BMA support groups only.

In her talk, Dr. Siegler will discuss what paper is and how it’s made; what deteriorates paper (light, humidity, insects, humans, and more); how to stop deterioration; and how to care for your collection at home, especially photographs.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring 1-2 works on paper from your personal collections. Dr. Siegler will comment on the condition of your works, as well as recommend treatments. Lunch will not be served at the event; however, we encourage you to meet your friends before or after the event for lunch in Oscar’s Café.

First Thursday Express Tour
June 4, 2015
5:30 PM

Please join the European Art Society for the Express Tour: Paintings in Peril: Conserving the Collection. The Tour will be followed by a private reception with wine and cheese for EAS members. The event will take place during First Thursday. Please meet in the 8th Ave lobby.


At the 12th annual dinner of the European Art Society, members voted that EAS funds should be used towards the conservation of two paintings in the museum’s collection and additional funds were pledged by members to pay for the treatment of another three paintings. Thank you, EAS members, for your outstanding and most generous contribution to this initiative!

On Tuesday, May 12 the European Art Society held its 12th annual dinner. Over the years important acquisitions have been made for the Department of European Art with funds provided by the European Art Society. The focus of this year’s dinner, however, was a paintings conservation initiative that reflects the believe that taking care of the outstanding collection that the Birmingham Museum of Art already has is just as important as new acquisitions that enhance our collection. Curator of European Art, Robert Schindler, selected six paintings in need of treatment and asked members in attendance to vote for two they thought should be conserved with funds provided by the EAS. The two paintings selected by the Society are Camille Pissarro’s The village of Éragny and Saint Mark the Evangelist, attributed to Jan Lievens. In addition, individual members stepped forward and offered very generously to fund the conservation of paintings not selected at the night of the event. Through their generosity, five out of the six paintings presented will receive their much deserved and much needed conservation! And we are still raising funds towards the last remaining painting, Jan Mijtens Portrait of the van der Graeff family, so that no painting gets left behind!

If you would like to contribute to this effort, please contact Bethany McClellan at 205.254.2567.

 Trip to the Huntsville Museum of Art
April 15, 2015
9:00 AM – 4:20 PM

Rescheduled Trip to the Huntsville Museum of Art for the exhibition “Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and the Golden Age of Painting in Europe” (originally scheduled for Feb. 25, but canceled for inclement weather). Leave from the BMA on a coach bus at 9 AM and return at 4:00 PM.

European Art Society Private Tour with Arthur Wheelock, Ph.D.
April 18, 2015
5:00 PM

Please meet outside Small Treasures  

Dr. Wheelock, Curator of Northern Baroque Painting at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is a leading scholar on the work of Johannes Vermeer. Join Dr. Wheelock as he talks about the star of Small Treasures, Vermeer’s Girl with the Red Hat, and other works in the exhibition.

Annual Chenoweth Lecture: Arthur Wheelock, Ph.D.
April 18, 2015

6:00 PM
Steiner Auditorium

Personal Encounters with Small Treasures, Arthur Wheelock, Ph.D., Curator of Northern Baroque Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Private Tour of Small Treasures with Dr. Dennis Weller
April 2, 2015
5:30 PM 

Join Dr. Dennis Weller, Curator of Northern European Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art and organizing curator of the BMA’s current special exhibition for a private tour of Small Treasures, followed by his public lecture.

Private Tour of Small Treasures 
January 29, 2014
5:30 PM

EAS exclusive tour for the opening of the special exhibition “Small Treasures:  Rembrandt, Vermeer,Hals, and Their Contemporaries” at the BMA

Tour and Reception
December 4, 2014
6:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art 8th Avenue Lobby

First Thursday Express Tour for EAS members only

New on display: Charles Vignon’s Adoration of the Magi

Lunch & Learn
November 25, 2014
12:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art Members Room

Lunch & Learn: Preview of the Fall Old Master auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s: What to buy and what not to buy

Day Trip to The High Museum in Atlanta for private tours of two special exhibitions
November 22, 2014

  • “Make A Joyful Noise”: Renaissance Art and Music at Florence Cathedral.
  • Cézanne and the Modern: Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection.

Weekend Trip to Detroit and Toledo
October 10-12, 2014

The European Art Society organized a weekend-trip to the Motor City, Detroit. Curators at the Detroit Institute of Arts spent a day showing EAS around their magnificent collection. That evening we dined at the Detroit Athletic Club and also explored the club’s own art collection. We had a chance to see the new expansion of the Michigan University Museum of Art and the truly outstanding collection of European paintings at the Toledo Museum of Art, expertly guided by curators from both institutions. On the last day, we visited the private home, now museum, of Edsel and Eleanor Ford (see photo), saw two private collections (one featuring Wedgwood and, yes, Lover’s Eyes!), and made a last stop at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, which is at the heart of Detroit’s thriving creative scene.

Lecture: The Detroit Institute of Arts- Past, Present, and Future
September 12, 2014
6:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art Steiner Auditorium

Dr. Salvador Salort-Pons, Executive Director, Collection Strategies and Information, Detroit Institute of Arts, gave a public lecture (co-sponsored by the EAS): The Detroit Institute of Arts – Past, Present, and Future