Northern Ireland's treasure house of the past and present.
Take 8,000 square metres of galleries, add rich collections of art, archaeology, local history and natural sciences, mix them with a constantly changing programme of temporary exhibitions and events, and you have all the ingredients for a fascinating voyage of discovery. From ancient Ireland to the South Pacific, from masterpieces of modern art to rare flowers, the Museum is a window to the north of Ireland and a window on the world.
Tues-Sun 10:00 - 17:00
Carparking within the Museum grounds is only available for visitors with a disability. Please call in advance to book.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Natural Sciences, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, Weapons and War, World Cultures
Key artists and exhibits
- Fine and Applied Arts
- Local History
- Natural History
Elements: From Actinium to Zirconium
- 7 March 2014 — 28 February 2016 *on now
From Actinium to Zirconium, it’s time to get switched on to science with a journey along the periodic table! Get set for an odyssey that will take you from the rocks beneath your feet to the most distant and ancient reaches of the Universe.
From microscopic viruses to vast galaxies – and you too – all are made from elements. In this new exhibition, find out where the elements were made, how they occur naturally, what they look like, how we use them, and why they can be dangerous!
- Any age
New Art New Nature
- 10 October 2014 — 28 June 2015 *on now
This exhibition, largely drawn from the Ulster Museum collection, looks at the role of nature in the work of Irish and International artists over the past seventy years.
The display begins with the Oceania textiles (1946) made by Matisse at the end of his career, when illness prevented him from painting. The ‘cut-out’ forms are designed to give a sense of the limitless freedom, lightness and space he had experienced when swimming in the South Seas in 1930. Matisse referred to ‘the irrepressibility of nature’ and this theme was taken up by William Scott in The Four Seasons Mural, (1959-62) for Altnagelvin Hospital, in which he translated the cyclical rhythms of the seasons into a highly accomplished abstract composition.
Nature as a potent, even overpowering, force is alluded to in Segura (2010), a video installation by Willie Doherty made in the Murcia region of southern Spain. The exhibition closes with two new acquisitions by Tyrone artist William McKeown (1962-2011). Untitled (2008) (Art Fund Grant 2014) is a luminous, abstract evocation of the sense of joyousness the artist experienced when looking at a light drenched early morning sky. This poetic response and sense of reverie is also present in Waiting for the Corncrake (2008) a series of delicate, atmospheric watercolours presented to the Ulster Museum by the artist’s estate in memory of William McKeown’s important contribution to Irish art.
- 12 December 2014 — 31 August 2015 *on now
John Henry Fuseli was one of the most inventive and original figures in British Art and, throughout his career, used the process of drawing to explore his thoughts and private fantasies.
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Fuseli settled in London in 1765, and became well known for his dramatic paintings of scenes from Milton and Shakespeare. Fuseli was an important figure in intellectual and literary circles and it is through his drawings, which were never intended for exhibition, that we gain insight into his fascination with this theatrical and emotionally charged world.
The drawings in this display were presented to the museum in 1896 by Francis Johnston, a local artist. They are some of Fuseli’s finest drawings and watercolours and illustrate the complex, and sometimes erotic, workings of his imagination. They are mainly studies of women, some with the elaborate hairstyles associated with actresses and prostitutes
others are tender portraits of his wife, Sophia Rawlins. The final drawing, Pylades and Orestes, illustrates the visionary and heroic aspect of classical literature that Fuseli particularly admired.
CEDaR Recording Northern Ireland’s Wildlife
- 20 March — 21 June 2015 *on now
The exhibition tells the story of 20 years of biological recording in Northern Ireland.
The Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) was established at the Ulster Museum in January 1995. It is a partnership between Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) and the local biological recording community.
CEDaR collects, collates, manages and disseminates wildlife information for Northern Ireland and its coastal waters. The collection of wildlife information is essential for the delivery of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy, policy and decision-making.
Using specimens from the National Museums’ collections, informative text, artwork and photography, the exhibition summarises the activities of CEDaR over the previous 20 years.
A Viking's Guide to Deadly Dragons
- 1 May — 31 August 2015 *on now
A Viking’s Guide to Deadly Dragons with Cressida Cowell will transport you back in time to a fictional world, where Vikings ruled and dragons roamed.
With Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as your unlikely hero, discover the tribe of Hairy Hooligans, his island home of Berk, his hunting dragon Toothless and his quest to become a hero the hard way. Dare to explore the wild dragon cliffs, sail on a Viking longship, share epic yarns in the Great Hall and learn to speak Dragonese!
Cressida Cowell's delightful books about a reluctant Viking hero are brought to life in this touring exhibition by Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books. A Viking's Guide to Deadly Dragons explores how Viking history, legend and dragonlore inspired Cressida’s How to Train Your Dragon series.
The exhibition reveals the author's creative process through the inclusion of her original sketches, story plans, notes and manuscripts.
The Age of Liberty
- 13 June — 31 August 2015
Step into the wardrobe of the early 1900s as women were freed from their corset and unleashed into an age of liberty. Admire beautiful fabrics and elegant embellishments of exquisite gowns with an exhibition that showcases the rich and exotic opulence of a glamorous silhouette.
‘The Age of Liberty’ began around 1900, as the campaign for votes for women was challenging their traditional roles in society. This brought about a dramatic transformation in fashionable dress.
For the Edwardian lady, getting dressed had been a complicated business. She was expected to change her dress up to six or seven times a day and relied on a maid to assist with the uncomfortable, restricting cors etry that was developed to produce the ideal outline.
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