CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Back to the future

PUBLISHED: 15:39 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:18 20 February 2013

Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum

On Saturday, November 7 the beautifully redesigned Ashmolean Museum will throw open its doors to the public for the first time.

Following a major £61 million redevelopment, funded with a 15 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional major support from the Linbury Trust, along with numerous trusts, foundations and individuals, the opening has been much-anticipated.

The award-winning architect Rick Mather has designed a new building to provide the Ashmolean with almost twice as much display space in a world-class building which is now a match for its world-class collections. Located to the north of Charles Cockerell's original museum built in 1845, it will comprise 39 new galleries, including four new temporary exhibition galleries, a new education centre, conservation studios, a walkthrough to the museum and the Cast Gallery, and Oxford's first rooftop caf.

An innovative approach to displaying the collections - Crossing Cultures Crossing Time - will transform the way the Ashmolean's rare and beautiful objects are understood by visitors. Each object's story will be told by tracing the journey of ideas and influences through time and across continents, enabling visitors to discover how civilisations developed as part of an interrelated world culture. Themed galleries will explore the connections between objects and activities common to different cultures, while entire floors of galleries will be arranged chronologically, charting the development of the ancient and modern worlds.

Arranged over five floors with level access throughout, thousands of objects previously held in storage will be shown to their best advantage, and advanced environmental controls will allow even the most rare and fragile items to be displayed. The extensive temporary exhibition space will enable the Ashmolean to host crowd-pulling 'blockbuster' exhibitions.

One of the newest and most important acquisitions is Titian's The Triumph of Love, which, prior to its summer showing at the National Gallery, had not been seen since it was exhibited in 1960 at the Royal Academy. Now, following extensive and careful restoration, the painting will be on permanent display at the Ashmolean.

Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is the most important museum of art and archaeology in the heart of Britain. The collections span the civilisations of east and west, charting the aspirations of mankind 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 greatest Anglo-Saxon collections beyond the British Museum, and the foremost collection of modern Chinese art in the Western world.

The Ashmolean, as a teaching and research department of the University of Oxford, and invaluable showcase for some of the world's most important collections of art history, archaeology and history, will be welcomed in its newest incarnation with open arms.

The Ashmolean, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PH, tel: 01865 278000,


More from Homes & Gardens

Christmas in the Wilson household is a heartwarming, traditional family affair

Read more

From 1970s horror to 21st-century chic, Sami and Kate Attia have transformed their beautiful Regency apartment in the city of Bath

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Property prices across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds have risen steadily over the last few years, reflecting the trend across the country. But which area has shown the most dramatic hike in prices recently, and how does your postcode and house type compare with others in the area? You may be surprised to see the results...

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

From mini Norway spruces to luxury Nordman firs, here are eight of the best places to get a luscious, green tree in the Cotswolds this festive season

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

After a new home in the Cotswolds or looking to relocate within the region? We bring you 16 of the best housing developments in the area

Read more

Neil and Alison Smith wanted a project, but then their old coach house began to reveal its interesting little glitches

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

When your wood flooring is in need of TLC, help is at hand, says Scarlett Harris of ATC in Cheltenham

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Martin Smart, a director at Shipston-based Hayward Smart Architects, extols the value of appointing an architect

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

We look through the keyhole of some of the Cotswolds’ most luxurious houses on the property market

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more

Sometimes it can seem like destiny plays a hand at where we end up living, as Fiona and John Owen discovered when they found their dream converted chapel in Chalford

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more

Water voles and trench warfare were just two of the problems faced by the family renovating a 1720s hunting lodge

Read more

The small, dark rooms of this 1850s cottage near Tetbury were completely reconfigured to open up the space

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search