Ashmolean Museum

A white stone building with Grecian style portico and columns
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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

Free

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

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/tricks-of-trade-money-and-magic-in-context

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

Admission

£12.25 / £13.50

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/article/spellbound

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

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/antinous-boy-made-god

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

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/no-offence-exploreing-lgbtq-histories

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.
Ashmolean

When East and West Collided: 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration

  • 23 November 2018 1-2pm

With Lesley Downer, Historian and Author

The Meiji Restoration was a revolution that transformed Japan from a feudal to a modern society. In this talk, explore the causes and consequences of this shift in a swashbuckling tale of swords, samurai and regime change – including the role of the British.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/when-east-and-west-collided-150th-anniversary-of-the-meiji-restoration

Ashmolean

The Natural Origins of Supernatural Thinking

  • 4 December 2018 1-2pm

With Professor Bruce Hood, Bristol University

It is often assumed that people are indoctrinated with supernatural beliefs or folklore. However, many supernatural beliefs can be traced to natural ways of thinking about the world that we all share from a young age. Learn about the science of belief and why we are so inclined to believe the unbelievable.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/the-natural-origins-of-supernatural-thinking

Ashmolean

Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens

  • 5 December 2018 1-2pm

With David Stuttard, Historian and Author

Classical Athens’ most dazzling son Alcibiades died in a hail of assasins’ arrows, and his life was equally flamboyant. Spectacularly rich, handsome and charismatic, he was a skilled general, ruthless politician and serial traitor. Learn more about his life through this talk with biographer David Stuttard.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/nemesis-alcibiades-and-the-fall-of-athens

Ashmolean

All that Glitters: De Morgan's Pursuit of Perfection in Lustre

  • 6 December 2018 1-2pm

With Sarah Hardy, Curator and Manager at the De Morgan Foundation

William De Morgan is best remembered for his designs featuring mystical and fantastical beasts and his Arts and Crafts tiles, but this lecture focuses on his work in lustreware which was so revered during his own time that he was widely credited with its reinvention and perfection.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/all-that-glitters-de-morgans-pursuit-of-perfection-in-lustre

Ashmolean

In the Footsteps of Van Gogh

  • 7 December 2018 1-2pm

With Juliet Heslewood, Art Historian.

Van Gogh moved from place to place as he pursued several professional activities, from his native Holland to Paris, London, Antwerp and Provence. This talk introduces Juliet Heslewood’s new book that examines his travels and the development of his unique artistic achievements.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/in-the-footsteps-of-van-gogh

Ashmolean

The Stigma of Extreme States

  • 12 December 2018 1-2pm

With Annie Cattrell, Artist, and Professor Malcolm Gaskill, Associate Curator of Spellbound.

Contemporary artist Annie Cattrell and historian Malcolm Gaskill discuss their fruitful collaboration in our current exhibition, Spellbound. In particular, Annie will discuss her installation Verocity and how it was inspired by the themes central to Gaskill’s research into the history of witchcraft accusations.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/the-stigma-of-extreme-states

Ashmolean

The History of the Choral Evensong

  • 14 December 2018 2-4pm

With Tim Porter, Historian.

In college chapels and cathedrals throughout England, growing numbers respond to this winning formula of music and meditation. This lecture explores the story of the phenomenon from its beginning five centuries ago to the present day.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £12/£11/£10 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/the-history-of-the-choral-evensong

Ashmolean

Antinous: a Boy made God in the Roman Empire

  • 18 January 2019 1-2pm

With Professor Bert Smith, Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Exhibition Curator.

Antinous was a court favourite of the emperor Hadrian who died tragically in the Nile in AD 130. Learn about his subsequent veneration as a hero and a god across the Roman empire through the remarkable busts and statues shown in the Antinous exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/antinous-a-boy-made-god-in-the-roman-empire

Ashmolean

The Music of the Arts & Crafts Movement

  • 25 January 2019 2-4pm

With Tim Porter, Historian.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, disciples of William Morris had created a unique Arts & Crafts ethos in the creative world. Embracing traditional values yet forward-thinking, rural yet modern, this style also influenced the music of the time.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £12/£11/£10 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/the-music-of-the-arts-and-crafts-movement

Ashmolean

Parthenon: The First Monument to Civilization

  • 26 January 2019 2-3pm

With David Stuttard, Author.

The Parthenon is one of the most iconic buildings of Ancient Greece. Part temple, part treasury, it was also a statement of political power, the embodiment in marble of Pericles’ vision for Athens. Drawing on contemporary literature, David Stuttard presents a challenging re-evaluation of the Parthenon’s purpose.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/parthenon-the-first-monument-to-civilization

Ashmolean

Wood & Ink: A Thousand-Year Legend

  • 26 January 2019 11am-12pm

With Master Wei Lizhong, Woodblock printer from the Shizhuzhai Woodblock Printing Studio.

Chinese woodblock painting has a thousand-year history and is an important part of the cultural heritage of China. Find out about the history, arts and techniques of woodblock painting of Shizhuzhai, revived by Master Wei.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/wood-and-ink-a-thousand-year-legend

Ashmolean

William Marshal: the Greatest Knight who Ever Lived

  • 1 February 2019 1-2pm

With Nigel Bryant, Translator.

William Marshal, a central figure in the reigns of Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John and Henry III, was deemed the greatest of all knights. Discover the revelatory biography written just after his death, based on stories told by Marshal himself.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Booking Essential – £8/£7/£6 – Full/Concession/Members

Website

https://www.ashmolean.org/event/william-marshal-the-greatest-knight-who-ever-lived

Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 2PH
England

Website

http://www.ashmolean.org

E-mail

Education Service

education.service@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Museum shop

shop@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Telephone

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.
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