M Shed is an exciting and innovative new museum for Bristol that tells the story of our city.
Located on the historic dockside, Bristol’s flagship museum has been designed to retain the character of the former 1950s transit shed.
Three galleries reveal the fascinating story of the city and its unique place in the world. From prehistoric times to the present day, explore the history of Bristol through the objects and stories of the people who have made the city what it is today.
See amazing film and photographs, listen to moving personal stories, encounter rare and quirky objects and add your own memories of the city through the many interactive displays.
M Shed is a living museum, where stories of the past will spark discussions about the future- where YOU can contribute to the changing story of the city.
Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm [closed Mondays]
Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-6pm
When this museum opens, part of Bristol Museums’ Designated Collections related to Bristol’s role as a manufacturing city and major seaport will be on display here.
Other parts of these collections can be seen at Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery, Georgian House, Red Lodge, and Blaise Castle House Museum. Please contact Bristol Museums for more information if you wish to see a specific item.
The museums were Designated in respect of outstanding collections relating to the City of Bristol, including topographical paintings and prints, maps and archaeological collections. The collections relating to the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries are particularly rich, and reflect the importance of Bristol in those centuries.
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Open for Business
- 22 March — 21 June 2015 *on now
Open for Business is the story of contemporary British manufacturing and industry told through the lens of nine internationally renowned documentary photographers.
In 2013, Jonas Bendiksen, Stuart Franklin, Bruce Gilden, David Hurn, Peter Marlow, Martin Parr, Mark Power, Chris Steele-Perkins and Alessandra Sanguinetti photographed over 100 workplaces across the UK, from one-man businesses to FTSE 100 companies.
Through eye-opening photography and film footage, Open for Business celebrates the resilience of British industry and reveals the daily struggle at a human level as businesses attempt to cut costs, streamline processes and level up to international competition. The project captures British manufacturing’s effect on regional culture and community life, and celebrates the work, activities and lives of its employees.
Bristol based photographer Martin Parr has captured the innovative industries in the city from Cameron Balloons’ 40 year history as the largest manufacture of hot air balloons in the world, to the cutting edge engineering at BAE Systems and the more painstaking meticulous work of Aardman Animations.
See a diverse collection of over 100 documentary photographs presented in this national touring exhibition.
Nature, Camera, Action!
- 18 July — 1 November 2015
The deepest oceans, the coldest continents, the most fearsome animals – wildlife film-makers and photographers have faced it all in pursuit of the perfect shot. Explore the challenges they face and the amazing kit they use, in this exciting exhibition for the whole family.
‘Nature, Camera, Action!’ is our flagship exhibition in support of the Green Capital programme of events. It highlights Bristol as a global centre for wildlife filmmaking within the international framework of this exhibition, developed by the BBC and the National Media Museum, Bradford.
Summer Walk – 40 years since the closure of the City Docks
- 20 May 2015 6:45-9pm
Join Senior Curator, Andy King, and discover the history the City Docks before their closure in 1 April 1975.
40 years since the docks ceased to operate as a commercial port, bringing to an end 1000 years of trading. This walk will look at some of the developments since and consider what the future might hold.
Military Rule and the ‘Suspected Persons’ of the Cromwellian South-West
- 21 May 2015 6-7:30pm
A talk with Alex Craven looking at how suspected Royalists from the south west were treated after a failed uprising against the rule of Oliver Cromwell in 1655.
After the uprising, Cromwell as Lord Protector imposed a system of military government across England and Wales. The country was divided into several regions, each governed by a Major-General, who were commanded to take bonds for good behaviour from suspected Royalists.
In the south west, Major-General Desborough took bonds from over 5,000 men, many of them of very humble status. Alex Craven will explore who these south-west ‘suspected persons’ were, and examine what it meant to be included amongst their number.
A Hogarthian second city?
- 18 June 2015 6-7:30pm
Historian Steve Poole looks at everyday life on the streets of Bristol in the eighteenth century and the comparisons with William Hogarth’s portrayal of London life at that time.
Hogarth’s depictions have heavily influenced the ways in which we imagine the urban scene in Georgian England. From riotous elections and gin-soaked rookeries to pox-marked prostitutes and bacchanalian behaviour at the gallows, Hogarthian London is a place marked by moral turpitude, disorder, corruption and squalor.
Nineteenth century chroniclers labelled Bristol’s mob as the most dangerous in England – social relations between the city’s poor and elite classes could be lively and often fraught. What provoked and motivated the Bristol crowd and by what rules, if any, was it governed?
City of Bristol
0117 352 6600