Ashmolean Museum

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.
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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:


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.

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

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


photograph of Tutankhamun's outermost coffin

Discovering Tutankhamun

  • 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.


photograph of embroidery

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.

Suitable for

  • 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.

Suitable for

  • 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.


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.

Petra: the Rose-Red City, and the Nabeteans

  • 23 September 2014 2-3pm

The Nabeteans were a tribal society who lived in ancient Jordan from the 6th century BC. They had an extensive caravan trade network across Arabia, Jordan and beyond. In this lecture, Linda Farrar explores the monuments, tombs and material culture of the Nabeateans including Petra, their capital city in the Jordanian desert which was discovered in 1812.

Suitable for


Clay Live: Masterclass - Working with Clay

  • 25 September 2014 2-4pm

Jude Jelfs is a potter and bronze-worker who makes hand-built figurative ceramics in earthenware, porcelain and stoneware. This is an opportunity to learn about these different techniques and see a practical demonstration.

Suitable for


The Eye of the Needle: Study Day

  • 25 September 2014 10:30am-3:30pm

The exuberant and technically exacting embroideries in this exhibition were made by young girls and women in 17th-century England, a century of religious and political upheaval. in this study day, we explore the social context in which these embroideries were made, and the skills and creativity of the makers through five lectures looking at techniques and materials
narrative imagery
and women in the early modern period.

Suitable for


Crazy for Egypt: In Conversation

  • 26 September 2014 5-6pm

The land of the Pharaohs has been a source of inspiration for western artists since the 18th century, but the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 unleashed an unprecedented craze for all things Egyptian, influencing everything from the visual arts to music and literature. In this discussion broadcaster and journalist Alastair Sooke, V&A Senior Curator Ghislaine Wood and Prof Stephanie Wood from Southampton University explore the meaning behind the popular fascination with ancient Egypt and how it shaped our world of celebrity, mass communication and fashion.

Suitable for


Vibrant Watercolours Workshop

  • 27 September 2014 10:15am-4pm

Following a guided tour of the exhibition, and using the Ashmolean's remarkable Egyptian collections, artist Amanda Beck will show you how to create vibrant watercolour paintings made in response to the discovery of Tutankhamun.

Suitable for


Dinosaurs, Deserts and DNA: the Strange Science of Tutankhamun's Mummy

  • 27 September 2014 2-3pm

Join Jo Marchant as she tells the story of scientists' attempts to study Tutankhamun's mummy, from the first dramatic autopsy in 1925 to the high-tech scans and DNA tests carried out in modern day Egypt. We'll discover a piece of Tutankhamun kept in a drawer in Liverpool
find out why the Mormons are desperate to get their hands on the pharaoh's DNA
and hear the real story of what happened to the poor king's penis, all while grappling with perils from deadly fungi and radioactive tombs to dinosaur DNA.

Suitable for


Practical Printmaking: Mono Print

  • 28 September 2014 10:15am-4pm

This course offers students the opportunity to create their own mono print inspired by organic forms, shapes, textures and images found in the Museum's collections. Using photography and sketchbook work, students will be guided through the process of building up a relief block to create a series of prints.

Suitable for


Photograph of woman with a letter

World War One

  • 28 September 2014 10:30am-4pm

Study artistic representations of the Great War. Investigate the heroics of Lady Butler's paintings, the horrors of the trenches depicted by Paul Nash and Otto Dix, the haunting melancholia expressed in the music of John Foulds and Ralph Vaughn Williams and the healing redemption found in the Sandham Chapel murials of Stanley Spencer.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 14-15
  • 18+


Please check website for further information


May Morris and Embroideries of the Arts and Crafts Movement

  • 30 September 2014 3:45-4:45pm

Discover textile designs and drawings of Kelmscott Manor by the craftswoman May Morris, who managed the embroidery section of Morris & Co. from 1885.

Suitable for


Hard Held: War Art Today

  • 30 September 2014 2-3:30pm

Artist Jason Bowyer spent ten days with the British Army at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in 2013. In this lecture, he talks about his experience of making drawings from observation in a hostile environment and its connection with his current work.

Suitable for


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.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly