ashmolean

News item from 2009

Architectural Impression

Ashmolean Museum to reopen in November following 61 million redevelopment

Additional major support has been given by the Linbury Trust, along with numerous trusts, foundations and individuals.

The award-winning architect Rick Mather has designed a new building to provide the Ashmolean with almost 100% more display space. Located to the north of Charles Cockerell’s original Museum built in 1845, it will comprise39 new galleries, including 4 new temporary exhibition galleries, a new education centre, conservation studios, a walkthrough to the museum and the Cast Gallery, and Oxford ’s first rooftop café.

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, such as money, reading and writing, and the representation of the human image. Moreover, entire floors of galleries will be arranged chronologically, charting the development of the ancient and modern worlds. Crossing Cultures Crossing Time will highlight the strengths of the Museum’s collections, while focusing on educational needs and creating a welcoming learning environment.

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 , the greatest Anglo-Saxon collections beyond the British Museum , and the foremost collection of modern Chinese art in the Western world.

The Ashmolean is a teaching and research department of the University of Oxford , providing research and publications of the highest standard in the academic fields of art history, archaeology and history. The Museum has always placed significant emphasis on education, not just serving as a resource for scholars but seeking to awaken a lively interest in all our visitors. With improved displays and new facilities, the new Ashmolean building will enable us to fulfil this role far more effectively than ever before.

The Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 28,800 projects, allocating over £4.3billion across the UK.

Oxford Thinking: The Campaign for the University of Oxford
The Ashmolean Museum is one of a number of major building projects that form "Oxford Thinking: The Campaign for the University of Oxford ", along with the other major themes of support for students and support for academic posts and programmes. The Campaign was launched in May 2008 with a minimum goal of £1.25 billion and is the largest fundraising Campaign in European university history. The current Campaign total is £679 million.

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