Robert Wenley joined The Barber Institute in May 2010 from Glasgow Museums, where he was the Curator of European Art, 1600–1800, and based at the Burrell Collection from 2003 until 2010.

Robert studied History (BA Hons) at Durham University and Gallery Studies (M Litt) at the University of St Andrews. This was followed by twelve years in the curatorial section of the Wallace Collection, London.

There he specialised in French bronzes of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, co-founding the international French Bronze Study Group in 2000. His French Bronzes in the Wallace Collection was published in 2002, and he also contributed an essay and entries to the catalogue of the landmark exhibition 'Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution' (Louvre, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, 2008/9). He was Reviews Editor for the Sculpture Journal from 2000 to 2010 and then a member of the Editorial Board until 2015. He was a member of the Art UK Sculpture Steering Panel (between 2013 and 2021) and is currently the Chair of the Specialist Advisory Board of the Public Statues and Sculpture Association.

His other specialist areas of interest are Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century paintings, and the history of collecting, particularly in Britain, and he has published several articles on these subjects in academic journals and publications. Robert is Chair of Birmingham's Public Picture Gallery Fund (founded 1871), has been a member of CODART since 2003, and was a member of The National Gallery's Advisory Committee for Research on European Paintings (2012–2019). At The Barber, Robert has curated numerous exhibitions and displays, including 'Carved, Cast and Modelled: Sculpture from The Barber Collection' (2011), 'Portrait of a Lady: The Life and Passions of Lady Barber' (2012/13), 'Close to the Heart: 17th to 19th-century Portrait Miniatures from UK Private Collections' (2013), 'Flinck in Focus' (2015–2016), 'Chance, Order, Change: Abstract Paintings 1939–89' (2016), 'Pride and Persecution: Jan Steen's Old Testament Scenes' (2017–2018), and 'Truly Bright and Memorable: Jan de Beer's Renaissance Altarpieces' (2019–2020).

Robert edited and contributed essays and entries to the catalogues for the last two of these, and will do so again for the forthcoming Miss Clara and the Celebrity Beast in Art, 1500–1860 (2021–2022). He also co-authored and edited Foundations of a Collection (2012) on the early history of The Barber Institute.

Robert Wenley