Ashmolean Museum

Founded in 1683, at a time when the idea of the 'museum' was brand new, Britain's first public museum, the Ashmolean, was initially the home of a collection of miscellaneous manmade and natural specimens and curiosities from every corner of the world, which was presented to the University by the wealthy antiquarian and polymath, Elias Ashmole.

The neoclassical architecture of the museum dates back to 1845, when it was built to house the University's art collection. The archaeological collections were moved into the building in the 1890s to form what is, today, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology – one of the most important museums of art and archaeology in Britain.

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.

Exhibitions and events

Antinous: Boy made God

Event until 24.02.2019 17:00

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...

The Music of the Arts & Crafts Movement

Event on 25.01.2019 14:00

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...

Wood & Ink: A Thousand-Year Legend

Event on 26.01.2019 11:00

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...

Parthenon: The First Monument to Civilization

Event on 26.01.2019 14:00

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...

William Marshal: the Greatest Knight who Ever Lived

Event on 01.02.2019 13:00

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...

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