The Birmingham Museum of Art is small-to-mid-sized and it will not give you the kind of "wow" that MOMA or the Chicago Art Institute does. Birmingham is a small town. That said, they have respectable collections in a variety of areas: African art, Asian arts (including multiple ethnic traditions from Japan, China, Korea), European fine art, photography and often local Birmingham artists. The layout is sufficiently generous that you definitely can get engrossed in the exhibits. High quality travelling exhibits do make it to Birmingham, including (in 2004) European painting from the 17th and 16th century. Quality is high, layout is clean, and the Musuem is quite enjoyable.