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
Return from the Underworld: The Orpheus Mosaic from Newton St Loe
- 3 August 2013 — 12 January 2014 *on now
Discover the Orpheus Mosaic from Newton St Loe, one of the museum's largest Roman objects. This is only the second time it has been on public show in more than 150 years.
The Orpheus mosaic was discovered in a Roman Villa at Newton St. Loe during the construction of the Bristol to Bath section of Brunel’s Great Western Railway in 1837. Several mosaic floors were found including this one, which illustrates the story of Orpheus, a mythical poet and musician, charming a circle of wild animals.
Roman mosaic floor designs which show Orpheus within a circle of animals are only found in Britain. The floor from Newton St. Loe is one of only nine ever to have been identified and may be the earliest, dating to between the late AD 200s and early AD 300s. The sense of movement achieved in the animals and the elaborate colouring of the figure of Orpheus is unparalleled.
The mosaic will be located in the Balcony Gallery on the first floor.
- Family friendly
Roman Empire: Power and People
- 21 September 2013 — 12 January 2014 *on now
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery will host the largest ever UK exhibition of Roman artefacts on loan from the British Museum this autumn.
Roman Empire: Power & People brings together over 160 stunning pieces from the British Museum to explore the story of one of the most powerful empires the world has ever seen.
Highlights include sculpture from the villas of the Emperors Tiberius and Hadrian, coins from the famous Hoxne treasure, beautiful jewellery and even near-perfectly preserved children’s clothing from Roman Egypt.
The exhibition explores the wealth, power and organisation of the Empire, but also how the Romans viewed their provinces and other peoples. Religious, military and personal objects give an insight into the lives of people across the Empire, from northern Britain to Egypt and the Middle East. These fascinating objects show how the influences of the many people and places that the Romans came into contact with were absorbed and adapted into the Empire.
The exhibition debuts at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and is the only stop in the south-west before touring the UK.
Click the link below for more information and related events.
- Family friendly
£5 / £4 concessions / £3 children (5 to 16yrs) / free under 5s
Family ticket £10 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)
1 in 10 group visitors go free. Groups must book in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Romans and Bristol
- 19 October 2013 — 12 January 2014 *on now
The exhibition focuses on the activities of antiquarian collectors, excavators and local residents who have all contributed towards making Bristol’s Roman collection what it is today. Many of the objects in the exhibition have never been on public display before.
Visitors will be introduced to the work of individuals such as the discovery of Kings Weston Roman Villa by post-war teenagers: George Boon and John Clevedon Brown. The work of the Reverend John Skinner, whose excavations in Camerton, Somerset uncovered a wealth of Roman artefacts, including: three coin hoards; fine imported Roman pottery; brooches and other personal and domestic items also form part of the exhibition. Material from important local sites, including: the Roman town of Abona at Sea Mills; a Roman temple and three Roman villas will be displayed together to give visitors a flavour of the wide range of artefacts in the collection.
- Any age
City Lives – Contemporary art in a changing world
- 30 November 2013 — 2 March 2014 *on now
City Lives is the second in the Global to Local trilogy of exhibitions showing at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Half the world’s population lives in a city and it is estimated that by 2050 this will rise to more than three quarters. Featuring artists from around the world, City Lives explores some of the issues arising from Urbanisation today.
- Any age
Free Talk: Romans and Bristol
- 7 December 2013 From 1pm
Find out more about Bristol’s own Roman collections and the people who found them.