Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
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The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is an inspirational public art museum where you can see outstanding world art for free. The Centre, which opened in 1978 to house the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, is a world-class building designed by Norman Foster, at the University of East Anglia (UEA), a short distance from Norwich city centre.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Tues-Friday 10.00-18.00
Saturday-Sunday 10:00-17:00

Closed: Mon
Christmas & New Year

Admission charges

Admission to the permanent collection is free. There may be charges for special exhibitions.


  • International Council of Museums

Additional info

The galleries are fully accessible to wheelchair users. Manual and electric wheelchairs are available - please call in advance to book. A hearing loop is installed in the building.

The Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection is primarily found in a gallery known as the Living Area, where modern European art is interspersed with works from around the globe. The objects you'll find here span 5,000 years of human creativity.

Objects from the UEA Collection of Abstract and Constructivist Art, Architecture and Design are also displayed. The collection reflects the curators' interest in 1960s kinetic art and multiples, and non-objective and constructive movements of the 20th century.

Collection details

Architecture, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art, World Cultures

Key artists and exhibits

  • Henry Moore
  • Alberto Giacometti
  • Francis Bacon
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Edgar Degas
  • Amedeo Modigliani
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector

  • 12 September 2015 — 31 January 2016 *on now

Celebrating the many and varied motivations for collecting, Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector presents the fascinating personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists, including Andy Warhol, Arman, Peter Blake, Edmund de Waal, Damien Hirst,Howard Hodgkin, Sol LeWitt, Martin Parr, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Pae White.

The exhibition presents a selection of objects from the collections of the artists alongside a key example of their work to provide insight into their inspirations, influences, motives and obsessions.

Their collections range from mass-produced memorabilia to rare art and artefacts and from natural history specimens to curios and objects reflecting popular culture. These extraordinary collections help reveal the creative processes of some of the most important artists of the last 50 years.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector is curated and organised by Barbican Centre, London.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly




Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty

  • 7 November 2015 — 20 March 2016 *on now

Czech-born Alphonse Mucha (1860 – 1939) is one of the most celebrated artists of the fin-de-siècle. Rising to international fame with his elegant designs for decorative panels, and stunning advertising posters, ‘le style Mucha’ became synonymous with the Art Nouveau movement.

Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty explores the work of the artist, around the theme of beauty – the core principle underlying his artistic philosophy. The show will include over 60 works drawn primarily from the collection of the Mucha Trust, focusing on drawings, paintings, photographs and iconic posters, such as Gismonda, Mucha’s first poster designed for the actress Sarah Bernhardt.

Like artists of the British Arts and Crafts movement, it was Mucha’s belief that beautiful works of art should improve the quality of peoples lives.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


£7/£6 Concessions


Gertrude's Jewel


  • 5 December 2015 — 10 April 2016

Newfoundland is an exhibition of work by contemporary jeweller Romilly Saumarez Smith and photography by artist Verdi Yahooda. Each of the 70+ pieces on display has at its core Roman, Anglo-Saxon or Mediaeval metalwork.

Originally everyday domestic things, but lost in the ground and buried in time they have become particular and special. A small belt buckle becomes a delicate ring; a metal garment pin turns into an elegant brooch; an old spoon is reawakened with the addition of silver granulation.

Romilly draws out the inherent characteristic of the pieces and gives them a resonance well beyond their function

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
University of East Anglia




01603 593199


01603 591053

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.