Pitt Rivers Museum

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The Pitt Rivers Museum is the University of Oxford's museum of anthropology and world archaeology. Founded in 1884 following a gift to the University from General Pitt-Rivers it retains its unique period atmosphere with dense displays of artefacts, many in the original wooden display cabinets. As a result, it has often been described as a 'Museum of Museums'.

The new extension and restored entrance which provide better provisions for the public, students and staff is now complete.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

10.00 - 16.30 Tuesday to Sunday (and bank holiday Mondays)
12.00 - 16.30 Monday

Admission charges

Admission Free

Getting there

The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW. The Pitt Rivers' entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH. The OUMNH is closed during 2013 but access to the Pitt Rivers remains as usual.

Parking: The Museum unfortunately cannot offer parking facilities. Vehicles parking in the University's Science Area without a permit are liable to be wheel-clamped. We suggest that you look for parking in either the side streets around the Museum or at the multi-storey car park. We can offer disabled parking, please call 01865 270927 to book a space.

By bus: There are also five Park and Ride car parks (situated on the A40 at Headington; Red Bridge at the bottom of the Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley). The coach park is on Oxpens Road. The walk from the coach park and the multi-storey car parks to the Museum is about half an hour.

By train: Oxford train station is approximately a 20 minute level walk to the Museum.

By cycle: There are bicycle racks outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Additional info

Induction loop available in museum shop.
Please pre-book disabled parking spaces.

The entire collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Pitt Rivers Museum takes the world for its province, with collections of artefacts that date from earliest times to the present day and extensive photographic and archival collections. The museum is a resource of international importance for the study of human cultures and their history. Its collections span all parts of the world from prehistory to the present day and celebrate the range of human creativity and technological ingenuity.

The collections are arranged typologically with material organised not by origin or date but by function to show how, at different times and in different parts of the world, people solved a wide range of everyday problems. Every aspect of human life is presented in displays of basketry, body adornment, magic, masks, medicine, music making, navigation and textiles, among dozens of other themes. These are complemented by a number of culture-specific displays, such as that devoted to material from the South Seas collected on Captain Cook's Second famous Voyage of Discovery.

Collection details

World Cultures, Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Religion, Photography, Music, Costume and Textiles, Archaeology, Agriculture

Key artists and exhibits

  • The museum's displays contain an almost overwhelming variety of material from masks to magic, mummies to musical instruments. Highlights include a 40ft Totem pole, a witch in a bottle and a temporary exhibition of photographs taken in Iraq, by the renound traveller Wilfred Thesiger.
  • Designated Collection
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.
Handling collection objects

Sensing Culture: A Tour for Blind & Partially Sighted Visitors

  • 25 February — 26 May 2016

A hands-on tour of the Museum designed to highlight different aspects of the Museum's collections, specially created for visitors with impaired sight. Part of our Heritage Lottery funded 'Sensing Culture' partner project with the RNIB. 25 February & 26 May.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free entry but booking essential. To book, please email outreach@museums.ox.ac.uk

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/talks.html

Jade tiki with mother of pearl eyes

After Hours Guided Tour

  • 25 February 2016 5:30-7pm

Join us for an exclusive After Hours guided tour of the Museum with one of our expert guides and then browse the galleries at your leisure away from the busy daily crowds. Explore remarkable collections of man-made objects from every continent and throughout human history. Discover masks and magic charms, baskets and boats, toys and tools and so much more!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10. Booking essential

Website

http://bit.ly/1N6BCrW

Detail of drawing

Life Drawing After Hours: Tutored Drawing Sessions in the Galleries

  • 2 — 23 March 2016

Learn about objects representing the body from various cultures and improve your technical drawing skills. A unique opportunity to learn from the collections and to develop your drawing practice in an inspiring space. Beginners welcome.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

2, 9, 16 & 23 March. £5 per session. Booking essential

Website

http://bit.ly/1kZEhGG

Syrian amulet with two eyes and a hand

Magic - Its Role in Human Society

  • 12 March 2016 10am-4:30pm

The Ancient Iranian priests of the Zoroastrian faith, the Magi or three Wise Men, have given us the word Magic. So what connection can we see between religion and the dazzling sleights of hand and psychological illusions that we associate with Magic today? What common functions have oracles, shamans, spirits and sacrifice played in the great diversity of human cultures? Speakers: Dr. Karl Bell, Dr. Xa Sturgis, Prof. Christina Toren, Prof. Piers Vitebsky

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Friends of the Pitt Rivers and students £20; Non-Friends £30

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/pdf/FPRMKK16.pdf

Musicians performing

Common Objects: Sonorous Matter

  • 22 March 2016 7-10pm

An intimate evening of music in the galleries. Composers Pat Thomas and John Butcher will be joined by leading international musicians to debut two new performances of scores inspired by selected objects from the Museum's collections. This special event is in association with Sound and Music and Arts Council England.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£10

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/specialevents.html

Folk Weekend activities

Folk Weekend Oxford

  • 16 — 17 April 2016 10am-4:30pm

As part of Folk Weekend Oxford, the Museum will play host to a variety of folk artists from Oxfordshire and beyond. Expect family friendly interactive activities and dance displays from acclaimed Morris sides. All activities are free with all ages welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free entry.

Website

http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/specialevents.html

Getting there

The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW. The Pitt Rivers' entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH. The OUMNH is closed during 2013 but access to the Pitt Rivers remains as usual.

Parking: The Museum unfortunately cannot offer parking facilities. Vehicles parking in the University's Science Area without a permit are liable to be wheel-clamped. We suggest that you look for parking in either the side streets around the Museum or at the multi-storey car park. We can offer disabled parking, please call 01865 270927 to book a space.

By bus: There are also five Park and Ride car parks (situated on the A40 at Headington; Red Bridge at the bottom of the Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley). The coach park is on Oxpens Road. The walk from the coach park and the multi-storey car parks to the Museum is about half an hour.

By train: Oxford train station is approximately a 20 minute level walk to the Museum.

By cycle: There are bicycle racks outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Pitt Rivers Museum
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3PP
England

Website

Website

www.prm.ox.ac.uk

E-mail

prm@prm.ox.ac.uk

Telephone

01865 270927

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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