Ashmolean Museum

A white stone building with Grecian style portico and columns
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Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum is the country’s oldest public museum and home to one of the most important collections of art and archaeology to be found anywhere.

The collections span the civilisations of east and west, charting the aspirations of humankind from the Neolithic era to the present day. Among its treasures are the world's largest collection of Raphael drawings, the most important collection of pre-Dynastic Egyptian material in Europe, the only great Minoan collection in Britain, the finest Anglo-Saxon collections outside the British Museum and the foremost collection of modern Chinese art in the Western world.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Archive

Opening hours

Tues - Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays: 10.00-17.00
Closed every Mon & 24, 25, 26 Dec

Admission charges

Free

Additional info

Parking is available next to the Museum on St. Giles

The entire collection of the Ashmolean Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Ashmolean Museum was founded in 1683, the first institutional museum in Britain, and arguably in Europe. Notable among antiquities are the Egyptian collections, the Classical Greek collections including the ‘Arundel Marbles’ and the Felix Gem, and the Alfred Jewel. Paintings date from early Italian to Pre-Raphaelite and there are outstanding drawings by Raphael and Michelangelo. The arts of China, Japan, South East Asia and Islam are well represented, as are Maiolica, Renaissance bronzes and numismatics.

Collection details

World Cultures, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Coins and Medals, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Ashmolean Museum

Tricks of Trade: Magic and Money in Context

  • 31 July — 16 December 2018 *on now

Money can be ‘magical’ in more ways than one – it multiplies, it grows and it can buy happiness and bring forth plenitude. This display will explore how money and magic come together in interesting ways, showcasing coins used as magical objects, and exploring how money has worked magic over centuries.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/tricks-of-trade-money-and-magic-in-context

Ashmolean Museum

Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft

  • 31 August 2018 — 6 January 2019

The Ashmolean’s autumn exhibition explores the history of a fascinating cultural phenomenon – magic. SPELLBOUND will display 180 objects from 12th-century Europe to newly commissioned contemporary artworks. They range from the beautiful and mysterious (crystal balls, books of spells), the bizarre and macabre (a unicorn’s horn, a human heart encased in lead), to the profoundly touching (the testimony of women accused of witchcraft, the lovers’ padlocks cut from Leeds Centenary Bridge). The exhibition explores the inner lives of our ancestors, offering an insight into how people in the past actually felt and what they did to cope with the world they lived in. Looking at human hopes, fears and passions and asking visitors questions about their own beliefs and rituals, the exhibition aims to show how, even in this sceptical age, we still use magical thinking and why we might need a bit of magic in our lives.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£12.25 / £13.50

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/article/spellbound

Ashmolean Museum

Antinous: Boy made God

  • 25 September 2018 — 24 February 2019

Antinous was a boy-favourite of the Emperor Hadrian. He drowned in the Nile in A.D. 130, and the emperor founded a city in middle Egypt in his honour called Antinoopolis or ‘Antinous City’. A striking portrait of the boy was created by a great court sculptor, and this image was widely reproduced around the empire. More than eighty busts and statues survive. This exhibition explores the spread of Antinous’ image and his empire-wide cult as a hero and god.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/antinous-boy-made-god

Ashmolean Museum

No Offence: Exploring LGBTQ+ Histories

  • 25 September — 2 December 2018

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, this British Museum touring exhibition explores the ways same-sex desire, love and gender diversity have been expressed culturally throughout history and across cultures. Explore the often overlooked or underrepresented LGBTQ+ histories, experiences and lives by examining objects from around the world.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/no-offence-exploreing-lgbtq-histories

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Ashmolean Museum

Bob Brown: The 20th-century Poet and the Augmented E-reader

  • 31 August 2018 5:45-6:45pm

With Dr Eric White, Senior Lecturer in American Literature, Oxford Brookes University.

This lecture explores a revolutionary Reading Machine invented by the American avant-garde poet Bob Brown. Developing Brown’s vision for a 1930s e-reader, Dr White and John Twycross have developed an Augmented Reality version where users manipulate texts in real time.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£7 / £6 Members & Concessions

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/bob-brown-the-20th-century-poet-and-the-augmented-e-reader

Ashmolean Museum

Understanding Abstract Art

  • 26 September 2018 2-4pm

With Alice Foster, Art Historian

From recognisable and descriptive to a purer form of visual imagery where colours, lines and shapes speak for themselves, this talk explores how we might make sense of and interpret abstract art.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£11 / £10 Members & Concessions

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/understanding-abstract-art

Ashmolean Museum

Heritage & Human Rights: The Need for LGBTQ+ Histories

  • 28 September 2018 6:15-7:15pm

With Richard Parkinson, Professor of Egyptology, University of Oxford

Author of A Little Gay History Richard Parkinson discusses the need for heritage institutions to display and uphold equal human rights, and the personal impact that even ancient LGBTQ+ histories can have on all of us.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£7 / £6 Members & Concessions

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/heritage-human-rights-need-lgbtq-histories

Ashmolean Museum

Magic in History, Magic in Art

  • 30 September 2018 11am-12pm

With Spellbound curators Dr Sophie Page (UCL) and Marina Wallace (Artakt)

Magic mirrors, unicorn horns, concealed corsets and pierced hearts. This lecture explores the extraordinary visual culture of magic over a thousand years, from medieval angels and demons to the persecution of witches and magical objects concealed in modern homes. This fascinating talk concludes with a discussion of the relationship between contemporary art and magical thinking.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£7 / £6 Members & Concessions

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/magic-in-history-magic-in-art

Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 2PH
England

Website

www.ashmolean.org

E-mail

Education Service

education.service@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Museum shop

shop@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Telephone

01865 278000

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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