21 October 2019




27 February–7 June 2020

Young Rembrandt is the first major exhibition in the UK to examine the early years of one of the greatest artists of all time.  Looking at Rembrandt’s first decade at work, from 1624–34, the show charts a career on a truly meteoric path. How was it that in his earliest known work, The Spectacles Seller (1624–25), we find a crude, garishly coloured painting by an artist struggling with his medium; but a mere 6 years later he had completed an acknowledged masterpiece - Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem (1630).  The exhibition is the largest collection of works devoted to the young Rembrandt to date, featuring 34 paintings by Rembrandt, 10 by his most important contemporaries, and a further 90 drawings and prints from international and private collections.  It also features the newly discovered Let the Little Children Come to Me (1627–8) on display for the first time in public.

Admission: £14 / £13 concessions


16 July–22 November 2020

Coinciding with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this is a celebration of one of the world’s most creative, dynamic and fascinating cities.  Including works on loan from Japan and new commissions by contemporary artists, the show spans the exquisite arts of the Edo period (1603–1868) when the country was officially closed to the outside world; the iconic images of Hokusai and Hiroshige; to the photography of Moriyama Daido and Ninagawa Mika.  The exhibition looks at a city which has undergone constant destruction and renewal and it tells the stories of the people who have made Tokyo so famous with their insatiable appetite for the new and innovative - from the samurai to avant-garde artists groups today.

Admission: to be confirmed




25 October 2019–19 April 2020

Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957, Quanzhou, China) is, quite literally, one of the world’s most ground-breaking artists.  He is best known as the Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he treated awestruck viewers to possibly the greatest fireworks show in history.  His practice ranges over painting and drawing, video, installation and performance.  This exhibition looks at experiments with his signature medium – gunpowder.  Including 14 pieces from the 1980s right up to the present, it explores Cai’s cutting-edge work with mainly traditional Chinese materials.

Venue: Chinese Paintings Gallery, Ground Floor


23 November 2019–8 March 2020

American artist Philip Guston (1913–80) is best-known as one of the Abstract Expressionist painters whose work rocked the art world in the 1950s.  Far more so than his childhood friend, Jackson Pollock, or many of his ‘New York School’ contemporaries (de Kooning and Rothko), Guston was an artist whose work engaged with the tumultuous events and cultural revolutions of the 20th century.  Born in 1913, the same year that modern art is said to have arrived in the USA with the Armory Show, Guston was at work during the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration.  And his practice was never limited to one mode of expression as he experimented, from decade to decade, with abstraction, figuration and unique combinations rarely seen in the artistic output of his generation.  Focusing on his drawings, prints and works on paper, and including books and ephemera that belonged to him, the exhibition explores the surprising range of art and literature that influenced him, from Renaissance Old Masters to the writings of Eliot and Kafka; and his intimate responses to the major events that he lived through.  It demonstrates an extraordinary vitality and variety in the work in one of the most important American artists of the last century.

Venue: Gallery 8, Lower Ground Floor





Claire Parris, Press Officer
claire.parris@ashmus.ox.ac.uk | T+44 (0)1865 278 178 | M+44 (0)7833 384 512 | @AshmoleanPress
Sarah Holland, Press Assistant
sarah.holland@ashmus.ox.ac.uk | T+44 (0)1865 278 285
Sim Eldem, Bolton & Quinn
sim@boltonquinnn.com | +44 (0)207 221 5000



Images for editorial use are available to download at http://bit.ly/Ashmolean2020


Banner images:

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69)
Oil on oak panel, 15.5 x 12.7 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Ninagawa Mika
Untitled from Utsurundesu series
© Ninagawa Mika, models: AMIAYA

Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957)
In Search of El Greco No. 8
2016 Gunpowder on canvas, 91.5 x 91.5 cm
Private collection, Hong Kong
© Cai Studio