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.


  • 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.
Philip Harris - S.P Behind a Glass Door

REALITY: Modern & Contemporary British painting

  • 27 September 2014 — 1 March 2015 *on now

REALITY brings together over 50 works celebrating the strength of British painting with some of the most influential artists of the last sixty years.

Uncompromising and direct, the work of each artist retains a strong reference to the real world, ‘the stuff of life’. While, to an extent, painting has been eclipsed in recent decades by the Minimal and Conceptual movements, installation, photography and film, REALITY testifies to the survival and the impact of British painting today.

Artists represented include: Walter Sickert, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and David Hockney, alongside contemporary painters including Ken Currie, George Shaw and Caroline Walker.


£8/£6 concessions. Other concessions and family tickets available, please ask upon arrival.


Mamadou Gomis

Points of Departure: Photography of African Migrations

  • 21 October 2014 — 1 February 2015 *on now

How can a still image capture the movement of migration? How can the still image reflect the problems of (dis)connection, experienced by the migrants and the families they have left behind?

Migration is a major political concern of our time. More people than ever are on the move in search of a better future – but migrants who travel in pursuit of employment are sometimes seen by their hosts with ambiguity. It is a matter on every politician’s mind.

Looking at the transatlantic slave trade and contemporary migration, photographers Hélène Amouzou, Mamadou Gomis and Judith Quax examine migration from West Africa.




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.
Excavations at Birnin Lafiya

Crossroads of Empires: Archaeology in West Africa

  • 21 October 2014 — 1 February 2015 *on now

Crossroads of Empires is a large-scale research project led by University of East Anglia archaeologist Anne Haour, which aims to help us better understand West Africa’s past during the last 1500 years.

Media depictions of Africa often focus on famine and environmental catastrophes: Anne’s team wanted to show another side of the story.

The exhibition shares the experience of pursuing research into the African past, both to communicate the rich history of Africa and to provide a window into the modern landscape and culture of Africa, as well as giving a sense of what it is like to work there.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly