Museum of East Asian Art
Museum of East Asian Art
12 Bennett Street
The Museum of East Asian Art located in the heart of Georgian Bath offers visitors of all ages a wonderful insight into the art and culture of China and East Asia. This unique museum houses a fine collection of ceramics, jades, bronzes and much more from China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. The objects range in date from c5000 BC to the present day and reveal the finest achievements in East Asian craftsmanship. As well as the permanent collection, there is an exhibitions and events programme which includes guided tours, handling sessions and workshops. The Museum offers a family area which has a colourful information board, and lots of ever-changing hands-on activities relating to both the permanent and temporary exhibitions. In the Museum Shop visitors will find an extensive range of cards, gifts and books, all on an oriental theme, including stunning lacquerware bowls, fabulous silky bags and an array of colourful decorations. The Museum is centrally located just five minutes from the Royal Crescent, between the Circus and the Assembly Rooms, and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 12noon to 5pm. For more information about the Museum or about forthcoming exhibitions and events call 01225 464640.
All year round:
Closed Mondays (except most Bank Holidays)
Closed over the Christmas and New Year period - please contact Museum for exact dates.
Admission charges from 1st October 2008
Senior Citizens: £4.00
Family (2 adults & 2 children under 18): £12.00
Children (aged 6-12): £2.00
Children (under 6): FREE
- Museums Association
The Museum was founded in 1990 by Brian McElney OBE. Brian spent his entire working life practising law in Hong Kong and it was during this time that he began to be drawn to the beauty of Chinese art. In 1958 he bought his first piece, an ivory goat and kid, and Brian’s collection grew substantially during the 1960s and 1970s to include jades, ceramics, scholar’s studio objects and bronzes. After his retirement from law in 1983, Brian returned to England and generously donated his private collection to the museum which he had formed as a UK educational charity.
Since opening to the public in April 1993, the Museum has gone from strength to strength, and has become one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside London. With a collection of almost 2,000 objects, ranging in date from c.5000 BC to the present day, the Museum offers its visitors a wonderful insight into the art and culture from China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. With one of the most comprehensive jade collections in the UK and some of the finest bamboo carvings in Europe, the collection uncovers the finest achievements in East Asian craftsmanship.
Archaeology, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Social History, World Cultures
A Celebration of 20 Years – Highlights from the Donations to the Museum of East Asian Art
- 13 July 2013 — 5 January 2014 *on now
The exhibition showcases 51 objects given to the museum from 7 donors over the past 20 years. They include Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese works of art made of ceramics, metal, jade, wood, bamboo and gourd. The oldest object in the exhibition is an altered jade stylized bird shaped plaque, from Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture (3400BC-2250BC) China.
In 1993 Brian McElney OBE charitably donated his private collection to form the Museum of East Asian Art, which he had created as a UK educational charity. The exhibition also featured some highlights from Brain’s collection, among them is his first acquisition, a 17th century Gilt brass seated Sakyamuni Buddha from Tibet. In 1955, Brian spotted this statue in a shop tucked away between Brompton Road and Earls Court Road in London. At the age of 23, Brian was a student and had very little money. However, he was so captivated by this statue that he spent half of his monthly allowance provided by his father to purchase it. This was the beginning of a life-long passion for collecting Asian art. Brian’s hand-written catalogue of his collection is also on display. Visitors can get a real grasp of a collector’s personal passion for East Asian art from this hand-written catalogue.