What's in the Ashmolean
The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology, founded in 1683. Our world famous collections range from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, telling human stories across cultures and across time.
The museum’s galleries show how civilisations developed as part of a connected world culture and, as you travel up through the Museum, transport you through time, from the Ancient World to the present day.
The Ashmolean’s collections are extraordinarily diverse, representing most of the world’s great civilisations, with objects dating from 8000 BC to the present day. Among many riches we have the world’s greatest collection of Raphael drawings, the most important collection of Egyptian pre-Dynastic sculpture and ceramics outside Cairo, the only great Minoan collection in Britain, outstanding Anglo-Saxon treasures, and the foremost collection of modern Chinese painting in the Western world.
Our Western Art collection includes European paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, applied arts, and musical instruments from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The collections of Antiquities cover almost the entire span of human history from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Victorian era. They incorporate the surviving parts of the Museum's earliest collections, notably the founding collections of the Tradescants, which were donated to the University by Elias Ashmole in 1683. They also include a wide-ranging and comprehensive representation of the early cultures of Europe, Egypt and the Near East, which owes much to the Museum's long association with the field of archaeology.
The Eastern Art collections encompass art from the Islamic World, the Indian sub-continent, South-East Asia, China, Japan and Korea, and include ceramics, sculpture, metalwork, paintings, prints and other arts.
The Ashmolean’s cast collection is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved collections of casts taken from monuments and sculptures of the ancient world. The collection was begun in 1884 and now numbers more than 900 casts.
The museum also has more than 300,000 coins, currency and medals in its extensive collection, many displayed around the museum, but many more in a Money Gallery on the lower ground floor.
The Ashmolean’s galleries are listed below.
Ancient Egypt & Nubia
Ancient Near East
Ark to Ashmolean
Arts of the Renaissance
Britain & Italy
China from AD 800
China to AD 800
Early Italian Art
Eastern Art Paintings
European Goldsmiths' Work
Exploring the Past
German & Flemish Art
Greek & Roman Sculpture
India from AD 600
India to AD 600
Islamic Middle East
Italy before Rome
Japan from 1850
Music & Tapestry
Reading & Writing
Sickert & his Contemporaries
The Greek World
West meets East
Sainsbury Special Exhibition Galleries
The Ashmolean hosts a changing programme of major international exhibitions.
Drawings, Prints and Study Collections
The Ashmolean’s extensive collections of European prints and drawings are open to the public in the Print Room.
The Eastern Art Study Room
The Eastern Art Study Room is open to the public by appointment, for the closer viewing of paintings, prints and objects from the Asian and Islamic study collections.