From Egyptian coffins to Impressionist masterpieces – the Fitzwilliam Museum’s world-class collections of art and antiquities span centuries and civilizations.
Closed Mon (except Bank Holidays when open 12.00-17.00) Closed Good Friday; 24,25,26 & 31 Dec and 1 Jan.
The Fitzwilliam Museum has magnificent permanent collections of international importance. The entire collection is a Designated Collection of national importance.
Holdings include antiquities from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome; English and European pottery and glass; furniture, clocks, fans and armour, coins, medals, illuminated, literary and music manuscripts and rare printed books; paintings, including masterpieces by Simone Martini, Domenico Veneziano, Veronese, Titian, Rubens, Hals, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Monet and Picasso, portrait miniatures and 20th century art, and changing displays of drawings, watercolours and prints. The collections also include artefacts from Sudan and Cyprus, and Chinese, Japanese and Korean art, rugs and samplers.
Founded in 1816, the Museum is housed in splendid buildings, the first of which, designed by George Basevi opened in 1848.
Items from this collection
Weapons and War, Music, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Ancient Egypt, Sudan
- Greece and Rome
- Roman and Romano-Egyptian Art
- Western Asiatic displays and Cypriot Art
- English and European pottery and glass, furniture, clocks, fans, armour
- Chinese, Japanese and Korean art
- Simone Martini, Domenico Veneziano, Titian, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso
- Designated Collection
Art, Revolution and War: France, 1789-1914
- 4 March — 28 September 2014 *on now
Medals, coins and banknotes illustrate key moments in the political and artistic history of France. This display focuses on the 1789 revolution, Napoleon, the 1848 revolution, and the artistic triumphs of Art Nouveau. One of the most famous examples of the Art Nouveau style in French medals is Orphée by Marie-Alexandre Lucien Coudray (pictured right). This was exhibited to great acclaim at the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris, with thousands of copies sold to art lovers.
- Any age
La Grande Guerre: French prints of the First World War
- 20 May — 28 September 2014
The first seven months of World War I are dramatically illustrated in the colour lithographs and woodcuts of the series La Grande Guerre. Scenes of action in the form of battles, sieges and airstrikes are punctuated by moments of relative repose, including commemorations, award ceremonies and depictions of the Allied forces, such as the English and Scottish taking five o’clock tea and Indian soldiers at prayer.
The prints will be shown in chronological order, so visitors to the gallery can experience a retelling of events from the perspective of France, from the taking of the first flag during the Battle of Saint-Blaise La Roche (14 August 1914) to the Fall of Przemysl (22 March 1915).
- Any age
Discoveries: Art, Science and Exploration from the University of Cambridge Museums
- 27 May — 27 July 2014
Following recent success at London’s Two Temple Place, the Fitzwilliam Museum is pleased to be able to display a smaller version of the Discoveries exhibition - the first major show to bring together the fascinating collections from all eight University of Cambridge Museums.
The exhibition challenges and responds to the very notion of ‘discovery’, displaying objects that span millennia; from artworks to scientific artefacts, historic instruments to rare zoological specimens. It is about imagination and knowledge, the pleasures of looking and the power of objects to generate wonder as well as new ideas.
The University of Cambridge has long been at the forefront of learning, invention, exploration and discovery across the arts and the sciences. The University of Cambridge Museums have grown alongside this research and teaching, founded and developed by scholars and collectors to house their collections of objects and works.
- Any age
Building an Empire: Money, Trade and Power in the Age of Charlemagne
- 3 June — 3 August 2014
This exhibition marks the 1200th anniversary of the death of Charlemagne, ‘beacon, king and father of Europe’.
A selection of the finest medieval coins from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s own collection (Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Byzantine and Islamic) will be on show to illustrate the complex political, economic and cultural ties of the period.
- Any age
Museums at Night
- 16 May 2014 5-9pm
Come and explore the Fitzwilliam Museum and its world class collections after hours.
• Listen to a selection of song poems in Gallery 3 – part of Cycle of Songs, which celebrates the start of the third stage of Le Tour de France from Cambridge on 7 July.
• Learn about our conservation work with special talks down in the Seminar Room.
• Sign up for 'Exploring Boundaries' - a unique museum tour led by Philip Stephenson (Senior Lecturer, Homerton College) and Julia Tozer (former Head of Education at the Fitzwilliam), with plenty of chance for discussion.
• Make your way to our welcome desk for Museum trails and drawing activities to try in the galleries.
• Stop for a break in our Courtyard café and listen to live music by a vintage skiffle band. Then treat yourself to a unique gift from our Museum shop.
Late night openings will also be taking place at Kettle’s Yard, The Polar Museum, Whipple Museum, Museum of Classical Archaeology and Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. For full details visit: www.cam.ac.uk/museums
- Any age