Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
City of Bristol
0117 922 3571
0117 922 2047
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.
Open Monday -Friday, 10am-5pm
For a reminder of your visit, the Museum shop contains award-winning merchandise, including reproduction prints from the Art Gallery's 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 web page.
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.
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
Reflections on the Aftermath: Lydda Airport
- 26 July 2014 — 4 January 2015 *on now
Reflections on the Aftermath is the third in the Global to Local series of exhibitions presenting the new collection of contemporary art developed by Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, in partnership with Arnolfini.
Supported by the Art Fund and The Henry Moore Foundation.
- Any age
Balcony Gallery, First Floor
Made in China: an imperial Ming vase
- 11 October 2014 — 4 January 2015 *on now
In the early 15th century, China was the size of Europe, with a population approximately twice the size. A global superpower run by one family, the Ming dynasty’s imperial courts led taste in arts and culture, and saw the creation and consolidation of many of the cultural, social and political themes that shaped the development of China.
Ming porcelain has long been prized by collectors in Britain and around the world. At just over 50cm tall, this stunning blue-and-white vase with lotus decoration is the largest Ming imperial porcelain of its kind in the British Museum collection.
A British Museum Tour, supported by BP.
- Any age
Suggested Donation: £2
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
- 29 November 2014 — 22 February 2015
Celebrating its 50th year in 2014, Wildlife Photographer of the Year provides a global showcase of extraordinary images celebrating the drama, beauty and splendour of the natural world with astonishing, creative and sometimes humorous wildlife photography.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide.
Free days: Friday 5 December and Friday 6 February (no groups on free days).
Last exhibition entry, 45 minutes before closing.
- Family friendly
Child (5-16yrs) £2
Under 5s free
Family ticket £8 (two adults and two children or one adult and three children)
Groups: 1 in 10 go free. Groups are requested to book their visits by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Concessions are available with proof of identity for students, people over 60, ES40 holders, disabled people (carers free) and Friends of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.
Ahead of the Curve: new china from China
- 13 December 2014 — 1 March 2015
Direct from China, this ground-breaking exhibition showcases contemporary ceramics and glass from emerging and established Chinese artists.
China is traditionally associated with imperial porcelain or modern mass-production. Ahead of the Curve will include striking new work and demonstrate current trends and practices in work being created in traditional porcelain centres Shanghai and Jingdezhen. The artists featured in this exhibition are challenging traditional approaches to making for the first time in centuries.
A partnership exhibition with Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum and Two Cities Gallery, Shanghai.
Join a gallery talk to find out more about the exhibition.
Supported by Arts Council England.
- Any age
The Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge
- 4 December 2014 7:30-9pm
In this illustrated lecture, Francis Greenacre will show the extraordinary variety of alternative designs and architectural styles proposed by Brunel himself and by other engineers, architects and amateurs, as well as more recent images of the bridge as the emblem of Bristol.
Part of a series of lectures sponsored by the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives, see what’s on for the full programme.
Please note, the lecture takes place at Tyndall Lecture Theatre, University of Bristol NOT Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.
Places must be booked in advance
Curious about Curiosity?
- 4 December 2014 1:15-1:45pm
Curiosity, on the ground floor of the museum, features 11 interactive displays exploring a variety of objects from the museum’s Archaeology and World Cultures collections from different perspectives.
The displays include the mysterious Pool Farm cist slab, a bronze head of an Oba from Benin and the skeleton of a young man killed in Tormarton over 3,500 years ago.
- Any age
- 7 December 2014 From 10:30am
Enjoy gift stalls, Christmas carols and crafts at the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives’ annual Christmas fair.
Children can join in with a mosaic-making activity, and The University of Bristol Madrigal Ensemble will be singing carols from 11.30am to 12.15pm and 12.45pm to 1.30pm.
There will also be homemade cakes and preserves, a tombola, jigsaws, CDs, jewellery, gifts, bric-a-brac and a raffle.
- Any age
Free entry. Drop-in.
A judge’s perspective
- 13 December 2014 12-1pm
Join competition judge Roz Kidman Cox for a talk about the highlights from this year’s winning photographs and a reflection on the past 50 years of the competition.
The talk includes entry to Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
- Any age
£6, includes exhibition entry.
Must be booked in advance.
Ahead of the Curve gallery talks
- 13 December 2014 2-2:45pm
- 27 December 2014 11-11:45am
- 4 January 2015 2-2:45pm
An introduction to the artists’ work in Ahead of the Curve, a ground-breaking exhibition which showcases contemporary ceramics and glass from emerging and established Chinese artists.
Find out how these artists are challenging traditional approaches to making, and hear more about our new range of hand-made Chinese ceramics in the shop with curator Kate Newnham.
Free. No need to book.
Meet at Reception.
Timbuktu: Desert Phoenix
- 8 January 2015 7:30-9pm
A look at the little-known history of the ancient Malian city and the story of how it rose to become a centre of medieval learning with author and TV presenter Dr Gus Casely-Hayford.
Dr Casely-Hayford will also talk about how Timbuktu was almost destroyed by a rebel invasion in 2013, and its thousand year old libraries burned – it is a tragic story, thankfully with a happy ending.
Part of a series of lectures sponsored by the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives.
Free. Places must be booked in advance.