News item from 2009
Ashmolean Museum to reopen on 7 November following £61 million redevelopment
Additional major support has been received from the Linbury Trust, along with numerous trusts, foundations and individuals.
The new building, designed by award-winning Rick Mather Architects, will provide the Ashmolean with 100% more display space. Located to the north of Charles Cockerell’s original Museum built in 1845, it comprises 39 new galleries, including four temporary exhibition galleries, a new education centre, state-of-the-art conservation studios, and Oxford’s first rooftop restaurant.
An innovative approach to displaying the collections, Crossing Cultures Crossing Time, will transform the way visitors experience the Ashmolean’s rare and beautiful artefacts. Each object’s story will be traced as a journey of ideas and influences across time and continents, enabling visitors to discover how civilisations developed as part of an interrelated world culture.
Themed galleries explore the connections between objects and activities common to different cultures, such as money, reading and writing, and the representation of the human image. 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, and create a first-class educational 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 group of Raphael drawings, the most substantial collection of pre-Dynastic Egyptian material in Europe, the only significant Minoan collection in Britain, the greatest Anglo-Saxon collections outside of 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. It produces research and publications of the highest standard in the academic fields of art history, history and archaeology. The Museum has always placed particular emphasis on education, not just serving as a resource for scholars but seeking to awaken a keen interest in all its visitors. With improved displays and new facilities, the new Ashmolean building will enable the Museum to fulfill this role far more effectively than ever before.
Weekend Opening: 7 November 10am–10pm, 8 November 10am–5pm