National Museum Cardiff

A photograph of a family lokoing at a dinosaur skeleton
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Discover art, archaeology, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

Although not the oldest of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’s buildings, this is the first location of National Museum Wales, officially opened in 1927.

Situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre, today it houses Wales’s national archaeology, art, geology and natural history collections, as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions.

Discover the secrets of our ancestors from the Neanderthals a quarter of a million years ago in the Archaeology gallery, Origins: in search of early Wales. Everyday objects and beautiful artefacts tell the stories of people in Wales and explore our links with the past.

The Art collection at National Museum Cardiff is one of Europe's finest. See five hundred years of magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the world, including one of Europe's best collections of Impressionist works.

Take an amazing journey in Evolution of Wales from the very beginning of time to the present day. The story begins in space with the Big Bang and takes you on a 4,600 million-year journey, bringing you face to face with dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. Find out how life evolved in Wales and which dinosaurs roamed the land.

Witness the diverse Natural History of Wales on an expedition which begins at the seashore and ends in the mountains. Experience some of the unique environments that make Wales home to over 900 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Tues-Sun 10.00-17.00
Open Bank holidays

Admission charges

Free entry

The Welsh national archaeology, art, geology, botany and zoology collections. Highlights include one of the finest Impressionist art collections in Europe and the 'Evolution of Wales' exhibition - the history of Wales from the Big Bang until today, complete with dinosaurs and woolly mammoth.

Collection details

Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences

Key artists and exhibits

  • Impressionist
  • Cezanne
  • Manet
  • Monet
  • Renoir
  • La Parisienne
  • The Blue Lady
  • Rodin
  • The Kiss
  • Evolution of Wales
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
painted portrait of a Jamaican woman

Augustus John in Focus

  • 21 November 2015 — 30 September 2016 *on now

Augustus John (1878-1961) was a leading artist of his generation. He was a wonderful colourist and draughtsman and for a time, one of the most exciting modernist artists in Britain.

This display brings together a selection of paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints from the Museum’s extensive collection by this important Welsh artist. It will focus on images of his family, friends and celebrated sitters as well as his fascination with gypsy culture.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/cardiff/whatson/7952/Augustus-John-in-Focus/

Wales's Newest Dinosaur

  • 1 December 2015 — 31 December 2016 *on now

The skeleton of the new Welsh dinosaur is back on display at National Museum Cardiff.

The dinosaur is approximately 200 million years old, the oldest Jurassic dinosaur ever found in the UK. It belongs to the theropod group of dinosaurs and is related to Tyrannosaurus rex, although our dinosaur was walking the earth about 130 million years earlier than its more well known cousin.

The new Welsh dinosaur is a completely new species, previously unknown to scientists, making this discovery even more exciting.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/8258/Waless-Newest-Dinosaur/

photograph of clear crystal skull

Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology

  • 26 January — 30 October 2016 *on now

Step into the world of famous explorers and travel on an adventure uncovering treasures from around the world at this exciting new exhibition at National Museum Cardiff.

To celebrate 2016, The Year of Adventure in Wales, we're hosting extraordinary treasures from popular culture including the hat, whip and jacket of Indiana Jones, crystal skulls, Inca gold and early finds such as Egyptian Mummies.

Book your tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment for this inspirational exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7 adults (17 years and over)
£5 concessions (over 60s, unwaged, in full-time education, NUS cardholders)
Free to everyone 16 years and under. Under 12s must be accompanied by an adult.

Website

http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/cardiff/whatson/8641/Treasures-Adventures-in-Archaeology/

Wriggle! The wonderful world of worms

  • 18 June 2016 — 30 September 2017 *on now

An exciting, family-friendly exhibition delving into the wonderful world of worms. Crawl inside the amazing ‘wriggloo’ and get an earthworm’s eye view of the world. Discover the mind-blowing diversity of worms and find out more about where and how they live. Use our fun interactive game to discover what kind of worm you really are! Explore how worms have crawled into all areas of popular culture, from books and movies to heavy metal music.

Discover with us…

Awesome Worms – some of the most weird and wonderful worms, such as the bone-eating snot flower which lives on whale carcasses at the bottom of the sea and the Bobbit Worm, a 3.4 m worm which is able to slice a fish in half! (display contains live animals)

Worm or Not a Worm – describing different types of worms and other animals, which may get confused with worms, including our interactive ‘Worm or Not worm’ quiz. Discover the huge diversity of different worm species with beautiful images and a spectacular model of a Strawberry Spaghetti Worm.

Worms ‘R’ Us – explaining the worm research that goes on behind the scenes, including a virtual slide microscope with specimens for you to try out.

From Fossils to Fantasy – an area looking at worms in popular culture such as books and films. This includes a model of the fossil worm named after Lemmy (from rock band Motorhead) and a variety of fossil worms from the Museum’s collections. You can even work out what kind of worm you’d be with our interactive game!

Size Really Matters – exploring the sizes of different worms, from little ragworms to huge bootlace worms over 30m long. You can follow our bootlace worm rope from other galleries into Wriggle!

The Wriggloo – see the world from a worm’s eye point of view. You can wriggle down and explore an earthworm’s habitat and see what animals live alongside them. (display contains live animals)

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/9051/Wriggle-The-wonderful-world-of-worms/

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories

  • 16 July — 20 November 2016 *on now

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories celebrates the work of one of the world’s most important and best-loved illustrators. Best known for his illustrations in the books of Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake’s work is recognised worldwide.

This exhibition gives an unique insight into the origins of some of Blake’s most iconic and popular creations, ranging from his illustrations in Roald Dahl's The Twits and Danny the Champion of the World, to his own Clown, The Boy in The Dress by David Walliams and illustrations to books by John Yeoman, Russell Hoban and Michael Rosen.

It includes first roughs and storyboards, many never shown before, with finished artwork to demonstrate how ideas evolved, often in close collaboration with the authors. It shows how Blake brings to bear a wide range of different techniques and media including inks, watercolours and pastels applied with a variety of touch, in response to the particular mood of a book and the nature of its characters, to create his distinctive and unforgettable illustrations.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/8916/Quentin-Blake-Inside-Stories/

Artes Mundi 7

  • 21 October 2016 — 26 February 2017

Every two years the Artes Mundi Exhibition and Prize brings some of the world’s best contemporary art to Cardiff. Artes Mundi 7 will showcase works by seven outstanding international contemporary artists whose practices explore current social issues and everyday life.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/9102/Artes-Mundi-7/

National Museum Cardiff
Cathays Park
Cardiff
Vale of Glamorgan
CF10 3NP
Wales

Website

www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/cardiff

www.amgueddfacymru.ac.uk/cy/caerdydd

E-mail

general enquiries - Welsh

post@amgueddfacymru.ac.uk

general enquiries - English

post@museumwales.ac.uk

Telephone

(029) 20397951

Fax

(029) 20373219

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.
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