Reading Foundation for Art enquiries
0118 937 3400
Welcome to the Reading Museum. Explore our eleven galleries of amazing objects local and global. There’s something for everyone from biscuit tins to beetles, Romans to Rodin. We halso have an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions.
The Museum offers a host of family friendly activities and facilities, including hands-on workshops suitable for all ages from toddlers to adults.
Our cafe offers home-made cakes, fair-trade tea and coffee. In the shop you can browse a range of gifts that includes Huntley & Palmers biscuits and tins, Reading memorabilia and Victorian-style toys. Follow the links to find out more.
We offer a comprehensive education service available through our Hands-On Learning programme. Call for more details.
Admission is free to the Riverside Museum at Blake's Lock, which is open every day.
Sunday & Bank Holidays 1100-1600
Closed: Monday - except Half Term (October and February 10.00-16.00)
Entry to the Reading Museum is free.
There is no parking immediately outside the Museum.
The Museum is 2 minutes walk from Reading railway station.
Nearest car parks are at Garrard St, Queens Rd, The Oracle and Reading station.
At the Reading Museum you can explore the social and natural history of Reading and surrounding area, including:
The Biscuit Town: Uncover the story behind biscuit makers Huntley & Palmers
Learn about the daily life and fascinating history of the once-splendid Reading Abbey.
Explore what the Romans did for us in the Silchester Gallery of Roman Life.
Britain's copy of the Bayeux Tapestry - displayed in its magnificent 70 metre entirety in a purpose-built gallery. This faithful replica was made by 35 skilled Victorian women embroiderers in 1885.(THERE ARE REGULAR FREE GUIDED-TOURS EVERY SATURDAY 14.15-15.00!)
Changing visual art and special exhibitions.
World Cultures, Weapons and War, Trade and Commerce, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Photography, Natural Sciences, Music, Inland Waterways, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Huntley & Palmers.
- Biscuit Town.
- Biscuit tins.
- Reading Abbey.
- Sumer is incumen in.
- Forbury Gardens.
- Reading Festival.
- Reading Festival history.
- Britain's Bayeux Tapestry.
- C20 art.
- Box Room gallery.
- Marcus Adams. Gilbert Adams.
- Alan Caiger Smith.
- Social and natural history of Reading.
- Silchester Roman collection.
- Madejski Art Gallery.
- John Madejski Art Gallery.
John Tweed: The Empire Sculptor, Rodin’s Friend
John Tweed (1869-1933) was a hugely successful artist who worked at the heart of the London art world and produced images of many leading Victorian and Edwardian figures. His public sculptures and war memorials can be found in Britain and around the world and his promotion of Auguste Rodin led directly to Rodin’s great gift to the nation in 1914 of 18 of his sculptures for display at the V&A Museum.
This is the first major exhibition devoted to Tweed since 1934 when his retrospective at the Imperial Institute was opened by Princess Alice of Athlone and attended by many of the great and the good of a declining Empire. It is the result of a four year project to catalogue Reading Museum’s Tweed archive. A new book John Tweed: Sculpting the Empire has also been published to coincide with the exhibition and is one sale at the Museum shop.
The exhibition features many works that have not been exhibited in public since the 1930s and includes important loans from the V&A Museum.
The exhibition, associated events and publication have been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Henry Moore Foundation and the Paul Mellon Institute.
Community Display: Greek Pottery
Ancient Greeks produced painted pottery over 2,500 years ago. They were the leaders in developing new decorative techniques and the artists depicted fashions, stories and gods. The images on the pottery show us that everyday Greek life was not so very different from our own.
Reading Museum has a stunning collection of Greek pots, including a number from the Museum's founding Bland Collection. Many of them are on loan to the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology at Reading University.
Visit us throughout the half term and enjoy Medieval themed art and craft activities.
How to obtain
All ages, FREE, drop in
Bayeux Tapestry Tours
Enjoy a guided tour of the famous full-size facsimile Tapestry. Tours are suitable for all ages and take place on Saturdays at 14.15-15.00.
How to obtain
There is no need to book for the tours and they are free - just turn up.
Visitors can discover more about the collections, or ask for help in identifying interesting objects (NB no valuations can be given).
12.00pm - 4.00pm
How to obtain
FREE, drop in
Tales for Tots
Drop in for a story inspired by and using objects from the Reading Museum collection. Stories are suitable for children aged 0-5 years and take place on term time Wednesdays, 10.30-11.30.
How to obtain
Stories are free and there is no need to book - just drop in.