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

Open Monday -Friday, 10am-5pm
Weekends 10am-6pm

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

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.

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.
The Hands by Barbara Hepworth

Modern Art in Britain: Reality Questioned

  • 17 January — 31 August 2015 *on now

See your favourite 20th century British paintings in a new light with Modern Art in Britain: Reality Questioned.

Paintings by artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, David Bomberg and Eric Ravilious reveal how they experimented with primitivism, illusion, visual puns and abstraction.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Hockney: A Rake's Progress

  • 31 January — 14 June 2015 *on now

Hogarth’s classic morality tale gets a Pop Art makeover by renowned and influential artist David Hockney.

David Hockney’s A Rake’s Progress was inspired by the works of the same name by William Hogarth who painted them in 1735. Hogarth’s sequence of eight pictures show the downfall of a rich young man seduced by the charms of London and corrupted by its vices.

Set in New York in the early 1960s, Hockney’s A Rake’s Progress is an autobiographical journey of self-discovery.

All eight prints are from our own collection at Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives and will be displayed in advance of our major William Hogarth exhibition in May.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free Admission


'Wielandstr, 18, 12159 Berlin, Germany - 3 Corridor'

New York City Apartment/Bristol

  • 28 March — 27 September 2015 *on now

Internationally renowned contemporary artist, Do Ho Suh showcases a unique installation of his New York City Apartment at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Commissioned especially for Bristol, New York City Apartment/Bristol allows visitors to experience the ghost architecture of a soft corridor and staircase tailored from fabric based on the artist’s home in New York.

As a South Korean who has spent most of his adult life abroad
Do Ho Suh explores his personal sense of physical and cultural displacement through his work and is known for creating works that explore the issues of separation, migration, sense of loss and longing.

He does this through representing real objects such as furniture, rooms and buildings that serve as mementoes of real spaces, but in unusual materials or in an unexpected scale.

Suitable for

  • Any age


"painter and pug"

William Hogarth: Painter & Printmaker

  • 16 May — 31 August 2015 *on now

Tate Britain is lending its collection of oil paintings by William Hogarth, one of the most important figures in British art, to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery this summer.

From portraiture to satire to history painting; this exhibition will introduce the diverse range of subjects that were tackled by this iconic painter and printmaker. Included in the exhibition will be his well-known satirical prints from our permanent collection.

This will be the most comprehensive show of the artist’s work ever in the South West. Bristol, home to Hogarth’s 28ft high Altar piece currently on display at St Nicholas Church, is proud to be selected by Tate as the only regional partner.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adult £5
Concs* £4
Under 16s Free


Art Forms in Nature

Art Forms in Nature

  • 4 July — 13 September 2015

Look in wonder at 40 exquisite original photogravures from 1932 of Karl Blossfeldt’s close-up photographic images of plants and flora.

Blossfeldt (1865-1932) is regarded as one of the defining photographers of the 20th century for his exceptional contribution to the art through his intricate botanical photographs. During his career he developed homemade cameras and lenses which enabled him to magnify his subjects by up to 30 times. In doing so he revealed the underlying structures of nature, which until then remained unexplored.

An exhibition from Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre. Part of the Bristol 2015 European Green Capital programme.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Queen's Road
City of Bristol



General enquiries


0117 922 3571


0117 922 2047

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.