Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Exterior of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
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Bristol’s premier museum and art gallery houses important collections of minerals and fossils, natural history, eastern art, world wildlife, Egyptology, archaeology and fine and applied art.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Tuesday - Sunday: 10am - 5pm
Plus Mondays during Bristol school holidays and Bank Holiday Mondays: 10am - 5pm

Admission charges

No admission fee - donations welcome

Discounts

  • National Art Pass

Additional info

For a reminder of your visit, the Museum shop contains award-winning merchandise, including a beautiful guide to the art collection, reproduction prints from the art gallery collections, greetings cards, a wide range of books for all ages and interests, unusual gifts and Bristol-branded gifts to name just a few. To view the stock and for more information, visit the Museum Shop shop.bristolmuseums.org.uk

The Geology, Applied Art and Eastern Art collections at Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery are Designated Collections of national importance.

Among the Designated applied art collections with a strong Bristol connection are important collections of delftware and glass. Also designated are Bristol's geology collections and fine and applied arts from the Far East, including the celebrated Schiller Collection.

Part of Bristol Museums’ Designated Collections related to Bristol’s role as a manufacturing city and major seaport is on display here. Other parts of these collections can be seen at Georgian House, Red Lodge, and Blaise Castle House Museum. Please contact Bristol Museums for more information if you wish to see a specific item.

At Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery there is a choice of galleries situated upstairs full of artworks: Old Masters, French School, British Collection, Modern Art and the Bristol School.

Alongside in the adjoining galleries, the decorative arts collections can be found: Eastern Art, Ceramics, Silverware and Glassware. On the lower floors - a fine collection of glittering minerals, ancient fossils and a large archaeology gallery showing the South West's geographic formation. Close by is the World Wildlife Gallery containing many examples of endangered or extinct animals, including the much-loved Alfred the Gorilla.

The popular Egyptology gallery contains real mummies besides other items and situated next door is the hugely impressive wall decoration made over 3,000 years ago - the Assyrian Reliefs. A natural history gallery contains examples of aquatic habitats in the south west of England and an interactive map of local wildlife sites and a freshwater aquarium containing fish typical of the region. Throughout the Museum and Art Gallery material from other countries can be seen, including pottery and clothing.

Collection details

Science and Technology, Religion, Photography, Natural Sciences, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Aviation, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Old Masters, French School, British Collection, Modern Art and the Bristol School
  • Eastern Art, Ceramics, Silverware and Glassware
  • Archaelogy / fossils
  • Egyptology / mummies
  • Assyrian Reliefs
  • Pottery and clothing
  • Natural history
  • Endangered or extinct animals, including the much-loved Alfred the Gorilla
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
One of the selectors holding his chosen image for the Empire Through the Lens exhibition

Empire Through the Lens

  • 30 September 2017 — 31 August 2018 *on now

Bristol Archives holds an extraordinary collection of photographs and films showing both public and private aspects of life in the British Empire and Commonwealth.

From about 500,000 images, we asked 27 people to each choose one piece. The selectors include development workers, artists, photographers, historians and relatives of the photographers.

They each bring a different perspective to the collection, and represent a broad range of personal knowledge, aesthetic appreciation and academic thought on the people and countries shown in the images, the legacy of Empire and the post-colonial experience.

Most of the collection dates from the 1880s to the 1960s and is just a snippet of the many thousands of images that are being catalogued and digitised.

Please note that the exhibition may contain some challenging images.

This exhibition is a display of the collection held by Bristol Archives and will take place at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

The ‘Exploring Empire’ cataloguing project was funded by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

No admission fee – donations welcome.

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/empire-through-lens/

Expulsion from Number 8 Eden Close by Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences

  • 31 March — 24 June 2018

Six large tapestries exploring the British fascination with taste and class by one of the UK’s best-known and best-loved artists – Grayson Perry.

Inspired by Hogarth’s morality tale, A Rake’s Progress, Perry’s tapestries follow the socially-mobile life of fictional character Tim Rakewell from infancy to untimely death.

Made in parallel with a Channel 4 documentary series, All in the Best Possible Taste, they are crammed with acutely-observed detail and invite us all to consider our own attitudes to class and our positions in society.

The exhibition also includes a number of works from our own collections, including historical ceramics, and the original Rake’s Progress print series by William Hogarth and David Hockney.

A specially designed guide will take you on a journey around the museum in search of historic motifs found in the tapestries, and you can hear perspectives from experts in very different fields through newly created audio.

Admission

£5 adult
£4 concession
Under 16s free

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/grayson-perry/

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.
Image of two dolls, one black and one white, found in the World Cultures store

Behind the scenes tours: World Cultures

  • 25 February 2018 12-4pm

See what the curators personal favourites are, from a collection of about 30,000 objects.

Tours will take place at 12pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm and last approximately 30 minutes.

Limited places. Age 7+ with accompanying adult

Admission

Pay what you think
Drop in

Book at the Welcome desk on the day

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/behind-the-scenes-tours-world-cultures/

Image of a Mycenae stirrup jar, decorated with dark and light brown stripes

Lunchtime talk: The Mycenae stirrup jar

  • 1 March 2018 1:15-1:45pm

In the Aegean, one of the mainstays of the late Bronze-Age economy was quality (surely, extra-extra virgin!) olive oil.

It was traded in bulk in tin cans. Much as we do today, it was traded – perfumed and perhaps coloured – before being sold as a luxury good in fancy glass bottles.

The Aegean people developed a special clay vase to do these duties – the stirrup jar.

This talk will look at the manufacture, decoration, history and trade-patterns of the stirrup jar and the perfume industry.

Designed to fit around your lunch hour, our lunchtime talks explore a selection of treasures from our exhibitions and collections.

Admission

No admission fee – donations welcome.
Drop in.

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/lunchtime-talk-mycenae-stirrup-jars/

Five men look over an African landscape.

Questioning reflections of Empire

  • 3 March 2018 11am-4pm

Dr Shawn Sobers, Associate Professor of Lens-based Media at UWE, brings together a panel of speakers and artists to discuss and respond creatively to the question of how the British Empire and its legacy are represented in photo and film.

Suitable for anyone with an interest in striking images, post-colonial studies, or our social history.

Empire Through the Lens
From about 500,000 images, we asked 27 people to each choose one piece. The selectors include development workers, artists, photographers, historians and relatives of the photographers.

They each bring a different perspective to the collection, and represent a broad range of personal knowledge, aesthetic appreciation and academic thought on the people and countries shown in the images, the legacy of Empire and the post-colonial experience.



Part of BBC Civilisations Festival. In partnership with UWE.

Admission

Pay what you think.
Book in advance.

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/questioning-reflections-empire/

Image of a women in the sea holding onto a plant

Winter lecture: Native American photographers

  • 8 March 2018 7:30-9pm

Popular historical depictions by early colonial photographers have fixed in time ideas about Native American life.

In this talk we will see how Native American photographers, from Horace Poolaw in the 1920’s to contemporary fine artists such as Cara Romero, break free from romanticised and colonial stereotyping.

They create modern narratives from within tribal communities, where native people hold the cameras and present themselves as empowered, complex and contemporary individuals.

Speaker: Joanne Prince, Rainmaker Gallery

Please note, the winter lectures take place at Priory Road Lecture Theatre. Parking can be difficult so please arrive an extra 15 minutes to allow plenty of time.

Admission

All talks are free and open to all, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives.

We recommend that tickets are booked in advance but access on the night at the door may also be possible.

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/winter-lecture-native-american-photographers/

Dancers wearing black leotards and smudged lipstick

Museums at Night: Trying it on

  • 16 May 2018 7:30-10pm

With performances created by one of the UK’s leading choreographers, Lea Anderson MBE, this Museums at Night will feature stunning costumes by award winning designers.

Based on notions of identity, class and gender, take this opportunity to catch outstanding performances, explore the whole museum, enjoy a drink, encounter surprises and pay a visit to the Grayson Perry exhibition.

'Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences' features six large tapestries exploring the British fascination with taste and class by one of the UK’s best-known and best-loved artists.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

No admission fee - donations welcome

Website

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/museums-night/

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Queens Road
Bristol
City of Bristol
BS8 1RL
England

Website

www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/

E-mail

bristolmuseums@bristol.gov.uk

Telephone

0117 922 3571

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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