Millennium Gallery

A photo of a modern building in a city centre
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Shop icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Step into one of Sheffield’s architectural treasures, the award winning Millennium Gallery, an inspiring venue in the heart of the city centre.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon - Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 11.00-16.00

Admission charges

Admission to Millennium Gallery is free, except for some special exhibitions.

Additional info

See website for details

The Metalwork Gallery is home to Sheffield's Designated Collection of metalwork, which hads been recognised for its national significance.

The collection is made up of cutlery, flatware and hollowware made in the city, together with an outstanding selection of comparative material from Europe and many parts of Africa and Asia. It includes silver, pewter, stainless steel and Old Sheffield Plate and is the best collection of its kind in this country and almost certainly the world. The collection dates from the 14th century to the present day and includes unique, handcrafted one-off pieces and examples of the mass-produced cutlery for which Sheffield has an international reputation.

Also housed at the Millennium Gallery, The Ruskin Collection reopened in spring 2011 following a major redevelopment programme which has transformed the Ruskin displays.

The collection was brought together by John Ruskin (1819 - 1900), a renowned Victorian writer, artist, and critic who had a major impact on nineteenth century thinking. In 1875 Ruskin established a small museum in Sheffield so that the ‘working men’ would be able to enjoy and benefit from seeing this wide-ranging collection. Since then the Ruskin Gallery has had various homes in Sheffield; Meersbrook Park, the Hays building on Norfolk Street and since 2001 has been shown at the Millennium Gallery.

The four month redevelopment programme has seen a total redesign of the gallery space, new display cases and lighting, as well as improved access to the collection. The new displays include the chance to explore ‘Ruskin’s Desk’, a new interactive telling the story of the collection, brand new audio visual interpretation and the addition of new comfy seating.

Owned by the Guild of St. George, the collection contains an array of paintings, drawings, photographs, books, and minerals, all of which illustrate the beauty of the natural world or the skill of craftsman and artists. An exquisite painting of St Mark’s in Venice by J.W. Bunney, medieval illuminated manuscripts and detailed botanical drawings can be seen in the gallery alongside large plaster casts of architectural features from ancient buildings and beautiful minerals such as opal and ameythyst.

Collection details

Fine Art, Film and Media, Design, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • The Millennium Gallery has two temporary exhibition spaces. The Special Exhibition Gallery shows blockbuster exhibitions from national galleries and museums such as the V&A, Tate and the National Portrait Gallery. The craft and Design Gallery shows the best in contemporary craft and design.
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Tim Smith. Untitled, 1985 © the artist

The Sheffield Project: Photographs of a Changing City

  • 20 May — 28 November 2021 *on now

During the 1980s, Sheffield’s Untitled Gallery, now Site Gallery, commissioned a series of photographers to document the city at a pivotal moment in its history. It was a time of great upheaval, which saw the aftermath of the Miners’ Strike, the steel industry’s workforce decimated, mass unemployment and dereliction. But it was also a time in which the city began to imagine its future, one that would include the Meadowhall retail development, the transformation of the lower Don Valley, and the World Student Games.

The Sheffield Project will show how these socially-engaged photographers, including John Davies, John Kippin, Anna Fox and more, reflected on this monumental period of change for the city and its people.


Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things

  • 20 May — 4 July 2021 *on now

Cecil Beaton’s glittering portraits from a golden age are brought together at the Millennium Gallery this spring in a major new exhibition direct from the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things explores a deliriously eccentric, glamorous and joyful era of British cultural life during the 1920s and 30s through the lens of the renowned British photographer.

The exhibition presents a dazzling leading cast of society figures, artists, writers and partygoers, each seen through the prism of Beaton’s portraits. Featuring 150 works, many of which are seldom exhibited, the images on display present a playful spectacle of costumed theatricality and unbridled creativity.

Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things charts the photographer’s transformation from suburban schoolboy to society figure and the unrivalled star of Vogue. The images he created during these early years saw Beaton refine his remarkable photographic style, with celebrated sitters including Hollywood stars Tallulah Bankhead and Anna May Wong, writers Daphne du Maurier and Evelyn Waugh, set and costume designer Oliver Messel, composer William Walton, poets Siegfried Sassoon and Edith Sitwell, socialites Edwina Mountbatten and Diana Guinness (née Mitford), artist and friend Stephen Tennant, among many others.

This exhibition in Sheffield, which comes after the pandemic sadly brought the original run in London to a close after just one week, is a rare opportunity to see these extraordinary portraits together on such a scale.

Exhibition organised by National Portrait Gallery, London.


colourful abstract painting with background in reds and blues and paint splat circle in orange and red

John Hoyland: The Last Paintings

  • 3 July — 10 October 2021

John Hoyland: The Last Paintings focuses on the series of paintings made in the last years of Hoyland’s life; an exuberant celebration of a life well-lived and a meditation on its approaching end.

One of Britain’s leading abstract painters, John Hoyland is renowned for his bold use of colour and inventive forms. His tireless innovation pushed the boundaries of abstract painting and cemented him as one of the most inventive British artists of the 20th century.

The Last Paintings will display works made in the last eight years of Hoyland’s life, showing previously unseen paintings, such as Moon In The Water, the last of Hoyland’s Mysteries series, for the first time. The paintings celebrate life in the face of death, as Hoyland reckoned with the deaths of his friends and faced down his own mortality. He uses semi-figurative language to confront this, centring images of the void and the cosmos, suns, moons, stars, and occasionally birds and figures.


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Culture Quake: Interpreting a gallery creatively

Downloadable lesson plans providing ideas for using a gallery or museum with music, writing and art & design. The worksheets can be used with any gallery collection.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Contemporary Metalwork in Sheffield - Living Metal

Explore the skills and knowledge of today's metalworkers in Sheffield. Discover the products made and find out more about the people who make them. Explore the skills and knowledge that people and companies use in the production.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Exploring Nature and Pattern Through Art

Investigating the theme of nature and art through the work of John Ruskin.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Metalwork Gallery Animations: Cigarette box

A beautiful animation showing how a stylised silver 1930's cigarette box by Joyce Himsworth was made and how it was used.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Metalwork Gallery Animations: Ear trumpet

An animation showing how an ear trumpet made in the 1820s would be used by those who were hard of hearing to amplify sound directly into the ear.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Metalwork Gallery Animations: Moustache Tablespoon

An animation about how a Moustache Tablespoon made in 1883 was used to prevent a gentleman’s moustache from being soiled when eating soup.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Metalwork Gallery Animations: Pea knife

An animation about the use of a 1930s Pea knife, designed to assist a diner to eat peas. The peas were balanced along the central slot, enabling them to be raised to mouth without rolling off the blade. It is possible that this knife was designed to be used by children.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Metalwork Gallery Animations: Turtle soup tureen

An animation about how a 1800s turtle soup tureen was made and used. The tureen could hold up to six litres of soup in its body and was used to serve soup made from green turtles imported from the West Indies. Turtle soup and mock turtle soup were very popular dishes in Victorian times.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Metalwork in Sheffield

Learn about the history of Sheffield's metalwork, read interviews with metalworkers and watch short video clips of metalworkers in action.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Ruskin and Nature - explore the gallery with your class

A resource about the importance John Ruskin placed on nature and his belief that we should never take our environment for granted. His collection which inspired the craftsmen of Sheffield is founded on these beliefs and contains many references to nature - good images.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Thomas´s Metalwork Trail, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

A gallery trail for three to six year olds with Thomas the Soup Tureen, plus good images and information about objects in Sheffield's Metalwork Gallery including tea urns, ivory handles, unusual cutlery and mythical beasts.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.

Millennium Gallery
Arundel Gate
South Yorkshire
S1 2PP




Main Reception

0114 278 2600

Bookings for Tours, Talks, Events and School Trips

0114 278 2655

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.