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


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.

Nicolas Poussin’s Extreme Unction

  • 18 September — 13 December 2015 *on now

A recently loaned masterpiece by Nicolas Poussin, one of the most celebrated artists of the 17th century, is on display in our Baroque Art gallery.

In a scene from early Christian times, a dying man is anointed with oil by a priest, surrounded by members of his family and household. Representing the sacrament of Extreme Unction, the painting belongs to an innovative series of the Seven Sacraments commissioned in the late 1630s by Cassiano dal Pozzo.

Extreme Unction was acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum in 2012 through HM Government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and numerous charities and public donations.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Homage to Ganesha

  • 22 September 2015 — 24 January 2016 *on now

One of the most popular Hindu deities, the elephant-headed Ganesha is revered as the remover of obstacles and the source of all success.

As a powerful deity of good fortune, Ganesha is invoked at the beginning of any endeavour. This display presents diverse representations of Ganesha from the Museum’s collection.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Wellby Bronze Renaissance Bowl

  • 6 October 2015 — 1 January 2016 *on now

This display of silversmithing and coins explores aspects of the cultural, technological and religious landscapes of a 16th century Bohemian silver-mining boom town.

The town of St Joachimsthal, in modern day Czech Republic, experienced a silver-rush in the early 1500s and was soon minting huge quantities of currency.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Tasting China: Images of Food in Chinese Art

  • 13 October 2015 — 14 February 2016 *on now

With images of various foods and related rituals and activities, this exhibition looks at representations of food within Chinese art.

From daily meals to celebration banquets, festive ceremonies to religious offerings, food is presented in many contexts.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Drawing in Venice: Titian to Canaletto

  • 15 October 2015 — 10 January 2016 *on now

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.

Venetian art has long been associated with brilliant colours and free brushwork, but drawing has been written out of its history. This exhibition highlights the significance of drawing as a concept and as a practice in the artistic life of Venice. It reveals the variety of aims, purposes and techniques in drawing from Bellini, Titian and Tintoretto to Tiepolo and Canaletto. Many of the works on loan to the exhibition have not been seen since the 1950s.

Drawing in Venice presents new research which traces continuities in Venetian drawing over three centuries, from around 1500 down to the foundation of the first academy of art in Venice in 1750.

Suitable for


Pax Mongolica 1210–1350

  • 5 January — 1 May 2016

Genghis Khan established the Mongol Empire in 1206. It rapidly expanded during the following decades, continuously invading new territories.

By the end of the 13th century, the vast Empire covered a large part of Eurasia, stretching from the Korean peninsula to Central Europe. These coins reflect the great diversity of peoples living under Mongolian rule and their different cultures.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


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.

Late Night LiveFriday: Heroes and Villains

  • 29 January 2016 7-10:30pm

Are you a superhero or a supervillain? Find out at our special late night of action-packed adventure, exploring heroes and villains across cultures and through time. Blockbuster live performances, hands-on creative workshops, behind-the-scenes talks, and bars in the rooftop Dining Room and the Café. Discover your secret superpower at Oxford’s favourite cultural night out.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


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.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street



Education Service

Museum shop


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.