News item from 2009
See your name at the heart of the new Ashmolean
With a donation of £50 or more, you will be able to see your name or dedication inscribed on the Benefactors Bridge, linking the galleries at the heart of the Ashmolean’s new building.
This groundbreaking project, the largest museum development in the country, is transforming the Ashmolean for the twenty-first century, building on its historic position as a world-class museum of art and archaeology.
Rick Mather, the award-winning architect, has designed a scheme to provide the Ashmolean with 100 percent more display space. Located to the north of the original Museum, designed by Charles Cockerell in 1845, the new building will comprise 35 new galleries featuring the redisplay of the rich and varied permanent collections. It will introduce 4 large temporary exhibition galleries, a new education centre with additional study rooms, new conservation studios, a walkthrough between the Museum and the Cast Gallery and Oxford’s first rooftop café.
One of the most remarkable features of the building’s modern interior will be elegant foot-bridges, including the Benefactors Bridge, connecting the new galleries. By supporting the Ashmolean appeal, you can have your name inscribed on the Bridge and become part of the Museum’s fabric for years to come. Alternatively, dedicate a message on the Bridge in memory of a loved one or to mark a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary.
Find out more about the Benefactors Bridge and how to give to the My Ashmolean My Museum appeal
Opening in November, the new Ashmolean will be more than ever a museum for the people of Oxford. With state-of-the-art facilities and free admission to the inventive and engaging new displays, the Museum can build upon the position it occupies at the heart of the city’s life.
The Heritage Lottery Fund, the Linbury Trust, and a number of generous individuals and other charitable trusts, have already given their support to the campaign. Nearly eighty per cent of the £61 million target has been raised.
“With the public’s support we can reach our target to complete this historic expansion. I am frequently touched by the depth of fondness for and commitment to the Ashmolean among local people – feelings to which I am certain the new Museum will do justice. I look forward to seeing you in November, if not before, at what I really hope you will agree is your Ashmolean.” Christopher Brown, Director of the Ashmolean Museum.
To celebrate the launch of the appeal, three new photographs from the campaign My Ashmolean My Museum have been produced. Featuring the actor, Sir Ben Kingsley, Rick Mather, and 8 year-old Oxfordshire resident, Freya Darius-Nobes, their portraits represent themes from the new displays, the building of the new Ashmolean, and the joy of discovering new stories about the collections.
“This is such an exciting time at the Ashmolean. I am really pleased to have been asked to get involved. I am lucky enough to live close by to what is a truly world-class museum, looking after treasures from across the globe. My photograph illustrates West meets East – one of the themes of the new galleries and a story very close to my own heart. I can’t wait to see it on display.” Sir Ben Kingsley.
For more information on how to give to the fundraising appeal and to inscribe your name or dedication on the Benefactors Bridge visit http://www.ashmolean.org/appeal/ or pick up a giving form from the Ashmolean Shop.
My Ashmolean My Museum is an eye-catching collection of over forty portrait photographs taken by the fine-art photographer Theo Chalmers. Working in collaboration with a diverse range of individuals, each portrait tells a unique story about the Ashmolean’s collections to convey the spirit of the new Museum building before it opens this autumn