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.

Qu Leilei: A Chinese Artist in Britain

  • 7 November 2017 — 15 April 2018 *on now

Contemporary Chinese artist Qu Leilei (b. 1951), now based in London, was a founding member of the avant-garde ‘Stars Group’ in the late 1970s, and immigrated to England in 1985. This exhibition shows his progression from calligraphic collage to an exploration of a new vocabulary of ink language blending lively brushwork with western technique.

Qu Leilei was born in 1951 in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, China, and like many other Chinese artists received training in painting and calligraphy at an early age. He started his career as a founding member of the famous ‘Stars group’ in China but it was while living in Britain that Qu Leilei has formed his unique style of ink painting. The exposure to Western art, especially classical sculpture and Italian Renaissance painting, intensified his quest for perfection of naturalistic image of bodily beauty in art. His love of beauty for its own sake, and his long and careful studies of the anatomy and Renaissance old masters, have led to large and impressive life-like figure paintings which are the primary focus of the exhibition.

The display features a variety of images ranging from small sketches of life drawing to larger highly refined figural paintings created from 1985 to the present, showing Qu Leilei's progression from calligraphic collage to an exploration of a new vocabulary of ink language. His confident use of brush and ink, allows him to blend western techniques with oriental aesthetics. Most of the works on display are drawn from the Ashmolean’s own collection with additional works on loan from the artist.

We are most grateful for the generous support of the Jiangsu Art Reproduction & Culture Development Co Ltd, China.


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.
Athenian black-figure amphora attributed to Antimenes Painter, 550-501 BC.


  • 24 March 2018 2-3pm

With David Studdard, Historian and Author

The Trojan War inspired the works of many Greek poets and dramatists. Using a wealth of illustrations, David Stuttard shows how vase painters, too, responded to the myths of Troy in ways that were moving, funny, and sometimes heart-stoppingly profound.


Tickets: £7/£6 Members & concessions, booking essential.


BBC Civilisations event


  • 28 March 2018 2-4pm

The Etruscans had a rich and distinctive culture, once dominating Italy before they were overshadowed by the rise of Rome. This series looks at the material culture of this enigmatic people to gain a better understanding of their lives.


Tickets: £11/£10 Members & concessions, inc. afternoon tea, booking essential.


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.