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.
Tues - Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays: 10.00-17.00
Closed: Every Mon & 24,25,26 Dec
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.
World Cultures, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Coins and Medals, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Lest We Forget: Commemorating the Great War 1914-1918
- 1 July — 1 December 2014 *on now
This display commemorates the First World War as evidenced in coins, medals and banknotes. The objects include commemorative and campaign medals struck to commemorate the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the ariel bombardment of London, and the sinking of the Lusitania amongst other events. The display also features emergency money struck during the war, prisoner-of-war tokens, and paper monet issued specifically to the troops
- Family friendly
- 24 July — 26 October 2014 *on now
Howard Carter’s excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.
The name of Egypt’s ‘boy king’ is now synonymous with the glories of this ancient civilisation. DISCOVERING TUTANKHAMUN will display objects of the Amarna Period (about 1350–1330 BC) with material from the archives of Oxford’s Griffith Institute, now in its 75th year, to tell the story of the discovery of the tomb, its popular appeal, and to explore how modern Egyptologists are reinterpreting the evidence.
The Eye of the Needle: English Embroideries from the Feller Collection
- 1 August — 12 October 2014 *on now
THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE will display, for the first time in public, a selection of eye-catching, virtuoso 17th-century embroideries from the internationally renowned Feller Collection, together with outstanding examples from the Ashmolean’s own holdings.
The exhibition will explore the context in which these technically exacting works were made by girls and young women at home or school, and what they reveal of the society, economy, and culture of 17th-century England.
A View of Chinese Gardens
- 5 August — 30 November 2014 *on now
Traditional Chinese gardens represent idealised maniature landscapes by using delicate arrangements of plants, water, rocks and architecture. Some plants have been favoured and cultivated in gardens all over the country, as they have particular symbolic meanings. This exhibition introduces a view of Chinese gardens by showing various artistic depictions of major garden plants and scenes. Four plant specimens collected in China in the 19th century on loan from the Oxford Herbarium are included in the display, showing the actual forms of some of the most popular garden plants in China.
- Family friendly
Oxford Times Photography
- 9 September — 1 December 2014 *on now
To coincide with the Photography Oxford Festival 2014, the Ashmolean is collaborating with the Oxford Times to celebrate their 150th anniversary, with a special display of photgraphs from their extensive archives. 15 photographs will be on display in the Ashmolean Café and will show how the Oxford Times has been at the forefront of documenting the history of Oxford, from the beginnings of press photography in the 19th century, to the present day.
- Family friendly
William Blake: Apprentice and Master
- 4 December 2014 — 1 March 2015
APPRENTICE AND MASTER examines three major aspects of the life and work of William Blake (1757–1827): his formation as an artist and apprenticeship as an engraver; his achievement as a master artist-printmaker, technical innovator, painter, and revolutionary poet; and finally his relationship to the printmakers of the Renaissance, and his influence on a younger generation of artists such as Samuel Palmer.
In one room of the exhibition, a nineteenth-century star-wheel rolling press will be installed where curator, Michael Phillips, will give demonstrations showing how Blake printed his illuminated books.
Dr. Suzanne MacLeod – Museum Architecture: a New Biography
- 14 December 2014
The Ashmolean, which opened its acclaimed new building in 2009, is delighted to welcome Dr Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester, to speak on the subject of her new book, Museum Architecture: a New Biography. Dr MacLeod will discuss the evolution of museum design, trends in museum building around the world, and how the changing role of museums in society effects how they are built.
Tickets cost £8 (£7 concessions)
Family Fun: Curious Containers
- 13 September 2104 1-2pm
From cricket cages to puzzle jugs, discover some unusal containers and make a special box to take home.
- Family friendly