Ashmolean Museum

A white stone building with Grecian style portico and columns
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum is the country’s oldest public museum and home to one of the most important collections of art and archaeology to be found anywhere.

The collections span the civilisations of east and west, charting the aspirations of humankind from the Neolithic era to the present day. Among its treasures are the world's largest collection of Raphael drawings, the most important collection of pre-Dynastic Egyptian material in Europe, the only great Minoan collection in Britain, the finest Anglo-Saxon collections outside the British Museum and the foremost collection of modern Chinese art in the Western world.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Archive

Opening hours

Tues - Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays: 10.00-17.00
Closed every Mon & 24, 25, 26 Dec

Admission charges


Additional info

Parking is available next to the Museum on St. Giles

The entire collection of the Ashmolean Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The Ashmolean Museum was founded in 1683, the first institutional museum in Britain, and arguably in Europe. Notable among antiquities are the Egyptian collections, the Classical Greek collections including the ‘Arundel Marbles’ and the Felix Gem, and the Alfred Jewel. Paintings date from early Italian to Pre-Raphaelite and there are outstanding drawings by Raphael and Michelangelo. The arts of China, Japan, South East Asia and Islam are well represented, as are Maiolica, Renaissance bronzes and numismatics.

Collection details

World Cultures, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Coins and Medals, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Tricks of Trade: Money and Magic in Context

Tricks of Trade: Magic and Money in Context

  • 31 July — 16 December 2018 *on now

Money can be ‘magical’ in more ways than one – it multiplies, it grows and it can buy happiness and bring forth plenitude. This display will explore how money and magic come together in interesting ways, showcasing coins used as magical objects, and exploring how money has worked magic over centuries.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


Spellbound: Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft

Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft

  • 31 August 2018 — 6 January 2019 *on now

The Ashmolean’s autumn exhibition explores the history of a fascinating cultural phenomenon – magic. SPELLBOUND will display 180 objects from 12th-century Europe to newly commissioned contemporary artworks. They range from the beautiful and mysterious (crystal balls, books of spells), the bizarre and macabre (a unicorn’s horn, a human heart encased in lead), to the profoundly touching (the testimony of women accused of witchcraft, the lovers’ padlocks cut from Leeds Centenary Bridge). The exhibition explores the inner lives of our ancestors, offering an insight into how people in the past actually felt and what they did to cope with the world they lived in. Looking at human hopes, fears and passions and asking visitors questions about their own beliefs and rituals, the exhibition aims to show how, even in this sceptical age, we still use magical thinking and why we might need a bit of magic in our lives.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


£12.25 / £13.50


Antinous, Ashmolean Museum

Antinous: Boy made God

  • 25 September 2018 — 24 February 2019 *on now

Antinous was a boy-favourite of the Emperor Hadrian. He drowned in the Nile in A.D. 130, and the emperor founded a city in middle Egypt in his honour called Antinoopolis or ‘Antinous City’. A striking portrait of the boy was created by a great court sculptor, and this image was widely reproduced around the empire. More than eighty busts and statues survive. This exhibition explores the spread of Antinous’ image and his empire-wide cult as a hero and god.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


No Offence: Exploring LGBTQ+ Histories

No Offence: Exploring LGBTQ+ Histories

  • 25 September — 2 December 2018 *on now

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, this British Museum touring exhibition explores the ways same-sex desire, love and gender diversity have been expressed culturally throughout history and across cultures. Explore the often overlooked or underrepresented LGBTQ+ histories, experiences and lives by examining objects from around the world.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
LIVEFRIDAY: Spellbound

LIVEFRIDAY: Spellbound

  • 26 October 2018 7-10:30pm

Explore the Spellbound: Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft exhibition and encounter magicians, illusionists, astrolabe demonstrations in the galleries, listen to talks on magic and medicine, star-gaze with astronomers, and experiment with face distortion. Or have a go at potion making, defend against the Dark Arts, or try the Magic Mirror of Floren. Watch out for the Witchsmeller!

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street



Education Service

Museum shop


01865 278000

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.