Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

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.
Exterior view of the entrance to a modern white-panelled building
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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.

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.
Maurice Bouval (1863-1916) Sommeil ou La Femme aux Pavots (Sleep or Woman with Poppies)

Sense and Sensuality: Art Nouveau 1890-1914

  • 14 February — 14 December 2014 *on now

This exhibition embraces the sensuality of Art Nouveau, and features a wide range of works from sculpture, graphics, and books to ceramics, glass and furniture.

Examples include Felix Vallotton’s original poster L’Art Nouveau, the first public presentation of the name when it appeared outside Siegfried Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau in 1895, and Aubrey Vincent Beardsley’s magnificent Salome prints. Masterpieces by Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), Maurice Bouval, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, François-Raoul Larche, Paul François Berthoud, Jean-Joseph Carriès, and many others, make this a delicious display of art and design.


£5, £4 concessions
Advanced tickets can be bought by ringing 01603 593199


John Virtue No. 8

John Virtue: The Sea

  • 26 April — 24 August 2014 *on now

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is delighted to present John Virtue: The Sea, an exhibition featuring a spectacular new body of work by this renowned British painter. The nine canvases, 25 drawings and 70 sketchbooks, all executed in the last three years, will be displayed in two galleries.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£5, £4 concessions
Family tickets available. Advance tickets can by bought by ringing 01603 593199


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

First Sunday

Art and craft activities for families each month, with a changing theme, usually on a drop-in all day basis, but check the website for varying times and prices.

How to obtain

Booking sometimes required. See the website for exact details and prices. Sessions often offered first come, first served.


Creative play for pre-school children and their parents/carers in the galleries and education studio. Activities change each week and are led by practising artists. Come along between 10.00-11.30.

How to obtain

Booking is essential. Each session costs £3 per child and £2 per additional child, while attending adults are free.

Saturday Art Club

Learn how to make art using a variety of mediumns, with practising artists in friendly art workshops for 8-14 year olds. Sessions will be based on and relate to collections and exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre.

How to obtain

Booking is essential for this club and is £4.50 per week (£3 conc) - have a look at the website for more details.