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.

Tony Birks: A Passion for Pots

  • 9 May — 15 November 2015 *on now

For the last fifty years Tony Birks (1937 – 2014), writer, artist and collector, has been one of Britain’s key figures in the crafts, and a principal figure in the world of studio pottery.

One aspect of Birks’ obsession with pottery was the wonderful collection that he accrued over the years of British, American and European pots, including early and rare examples by Mick Casson, Ewen Henderson, Gordon Baldwin, Andrew Lord, Anthony Hepburn, Richard Batterham, Claude Champy, Takeshi Yasuda and Robin Welch. All of which will be on display at the Sainsbury Centre in May 2015. The sensibility that comes through is that of a man deeply interested in ceramics as a vehicle for abstract form and surface.

Suitable for


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




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.