National Museum Cardiff
National Museum Cardiff
Vale of Glamorgan
general enquiries - Welsh
general enquiries - English
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.
Open Bank holidays
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.
Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences
Key artists and exhibits
- La Parisienne
- The Blue Lady
- The Kiss
- Evolution of Wales
I Spy... Nature
- 19 July 2014 — 2 April 2015 *on now
Come and experience how scientists’ observations lead to new discoveries.
A hands-on, family-friendly exhibition allowing you to try your hand at observing and recording nature. Experience how a Victorian naturalist sketched the natural world, or how modern technology allows scientists to image objects in 3-D.
Discover how insects view nature differently, or get up close and personal with dozens of natural history objects under the microscope.
- Any age
Efforts and Ideals: Prints of the First World War
- 2 August 2014 — 7 January 2015 *on now
This exhibition displays all 66 works from the 1917 print portfolio “The Great War: Britain’s Efforts and Ideals”, commissioned by the Ministry of Information.
Divided into ‘Ideals’ and ‘Efforts’, these lithographs provide a broad and fascinating representation of Britain’s war objectives, military activities and effort on the Home Front.
Some of the best known British artists of the period contributed to the series including Augustus John, Frank Brangwyn, William Rothenstein and C.R.W Nevinson.
- Any age
National Memory – Local Stories
- 2 August 2014 — 4 January 2015 *on now
This display explores how objects from museum collections, via creative digital workshops, can help young people and artists respond to the First World War.
- Any age
Artes Mundi 6
- 24 October 2014 — 22 February 2015 *on now
This major international contemporary art exhibition and the UK’s biggest art prize, returns to the city. It brings some of the world’s most pioneering artists to National Museum Cardiff, Chapter and Ffotogallery.
This must-see exhibition will feature groundbreaking work including film installations, sculpture, painting and performance. The overarching theme this year is the human condition and the artists explore many sub-themes which have relevance to our everyday lives.
Maurice Marinot: A Passion for Glass
- 20 December 2014 — 7 June 2015
Maurice Marinot (1882-1960) was a pioneer in the development of glass as a studio art form.
Born in Troyes, France, Marinot began his career as a painter, studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and associated with the Fauvist movement.
In 1911, a visit to the glassworks of the Viard brothers at Bar-sur-Seine was the catalyst for an all-encompassing passion for glass that would endure for twenty-six years. Drawing initially on his skill as a painter, Marinot decorated glass with striking, brightly coloured enamels. Around 1920, he began to create his own highly experimental glass forms that he considered as sculpture. A combination of failing health and the closure of the Viard’s works in 1937 caused Marinot to stop making glass and he returned to painting and drawing.
This exhibition will bring together forty-four pieces of glass from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Leicester Arts and Museums Service, reuniting them for the first time since they left the Marinot family in the 1960s and 1970s.
- Family friendly
Historic Photography Uncovered
- 24 January — 19 April 2015
This exhibition traces the evolution of photography, as a scientific process, as a social record and a medium for artistic expression.
The photographic material on display dates from the mid-19th to mid-20th century and shows how the history of photography relates to the museum’s own collections and the visual history of Wales.
Discover the story of the Dillwyn Llewelyn family who were based at the Penllergare estate near Swansea in the mid-19th century. Their pioneering experiments in the new medium created astonishing images of the south Wales landscape and of their family life and social activities.
Part of the display will also look at how photographic processes actually work, exploring the chemistry behind the images.
In addition, visitors will be able to view a wider selection of the images now digitised as part of the project, via the on-line database which will be available in the gallery.
The project of digitising historic photographs and the research of the subjects in these images has been generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
- Family friendly
The Welsh Girls are Good Fighters
- 12 December 2014 1-2pm
Thomas George, Researcher at Cardiff University, explores the different kinds of jobs women did and their varying experiences of work during the First World War. What was the reaction of employers, farmers and trade unions towards women replacing male labour and how did women themselves perceive their work?
The focus will be on the experiences of working-class women, but also those ladies who lay behind the organisation of female labour. The talk will also consider what happened to women workers during the immediate post-war period and how we understand women's role in the war effort.