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
Fang Zhaoling: A Centenary Exhibition
- 2 October 2014 — 22 February 2015 *on now
Drawn from private collections, including the Fang family collection, many of the works are on display for the first time in public.
she moved to Hong Kong and continued to develop her art. She studied with the Lingnan School master, Zhao Shao’ang (1905–1998), and later with one of the most celebrated Chinese artists, Zhang Daqian (1899–1983). She lived and travelled in Europe and America, and attended both Hong Kong and Oxford Universities. She continued to work as a well-established artist into her eighties. The paintings in this display are from private collections in Asia and the UK
some Fang gave as gifts to her friends and colleagues during her time in Oxford.
William Blake: Apprentice and Master
- 4 December 2014 — 1 March 2015 *on now
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.
Ed Paschke: Visionary from Chicago, 1968–2004
- 17 January — 5 July 2015 *on now
Ed Paschke: Visionary from Chicago, 1968–2004 is the third in the Ashmolean’s series of exhibitions of post-war and contemporary art presented in collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation (USA). Curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, a selection of paintings spanning Paschke’s artistic career from 1968 to 2004 will be on view.
Gods In Colour: Painted Sculpture in Antiquity
- 22 January — 14 June 2015 *on now
This exhibition of over twenty full-size colour reconstructions of Greek and Roman sculptures challenges the popular notion of classical white marble sculpture. It shows that ancient statues were far more colourful, complex, and exuberant than is often thought.
Great British Drawings
- 26 March — 31 August 2015
The collection of British drawings and watercolours in the Ashmolean is one of the largest and most important in the world. Great British Drawings shows more than one hundred works by some of the country’s greatest artists, to trace the history of drawing in Britain. Many of the drawings are shown for the first time in public.
Love Bites: Caricatures by James Gillray
- 26 March — 21 June 2015
To mark the 200th anniversary of the death of British caricaturist James Gillray (1757–1815), the Ashmolean presents more than 60 of Gillray’s finest caricatures from the outstanding collection of New College, Oxford.
An Elegant Society: Adam Buck, artist in the age of Jane Austen
- 16 July — 11 October 2015
The work of Adam Buck, Regency portrait and miniature painter, provides a fascinating insight into the faces and fashions of this time. Buck’s portraits of The Royals, landowners, Serving Officers and society hostesses, dressed in white muslin, seated or standing in fashionable interiors, brings the world of Jane Austen vividly to life. Jane Austen enthusiasts know Adam Buck’s work better than most.
Drawing in Venice: Titian to Canaletto
- 15 October 2015 — 10 January 2016
Featuring a hundred drawings from the Uffizi, the Ashmolean, and Christ Church, Oxford, Drawing in Venice is a ground-breaking exhibition based on new research.
Inspired by Blake Festival
- 16 — 31 January 2015 *on now
The last fortnight of January 2015 sees Blackwell's Bookshop and the Ashmolean Museum collaborating to bring you Inspired by Blake, a two-week William Blake Festival celebrating the magnificent and visionary painter, poet, thinker and icon.
The Festival will be as multi-dimensional and intellectually nutritious as the work and art of William Blake himself, aiming in particular to investigate the effect that physical places and spiritual events had on William Blake to engage with specific work by William Blake through discussion, shared reading, memorisation and recitation; and to open up the joy and inspiration of William Blake’s work to the world at large.
Join us for events ranging from discussion panels to knitting, from poetry workshops to children's crafts. Ring in the new year by exploring and absorbing Blake's extraordinary genius. You never know, you might end up inspired...
The festival will be opened with a panel discussion examining the many different aspects of William Blake, his influence on thought and culture, and his relevance today. The panel features Philip Pullman (who is President of the Blake Society), Iain Sinclair (author and pschogeographer, whose book ‘Blake’s London’ examines Blake’s relationship with our capital) and Caspar Henderson, whose new book will be ‘A New Map of Wonders’, a book about wonder and things that make the world astonishing.
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