New photography: The Ashmolean Museum

Explore thousands of images from Oxford University's outstanding art and archaeology collections.

Cast of Satyr and Hermaphrodite, original dated 1st-2nd century AD (plaster), Roman / Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK
Cast of Satyr and Hermaphrodite, original dated 1st-2nd century AD (plaster), Roman / Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK

 

'Cabinet of Curiosities'

Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is the world’s first university museum and Britain’s first public museum. The collection began as a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ developed by John Tradescant, installed in his house at Lambeth.

During the late 1650s, the collection was acquired by Elias Ashmole, who then gifted the collection to the University of Oxford. The Ashmolean’s neo-classical building, designed by C.R. Cockerell, opened to the public in 1846.
 
Curiosities abound with notable objects including the lantern carried by Guy Fawkes during the 1605 Gunpowder Plot (part of the Ashmolean's original collection) and the pocket watch and death mask of Oliver Cromwell.

 

Portrait of Elias Ashmole (oil on canvas) by John Riley (1646-91)
Portrait of Elias Ashmole (oil on canvas) by John Riley (1646-91)

 

 

Lantern belonging to Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), English School, (17th century)
Lantern belonging to Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), English School, (17th century)

 

 

Images for licensing

Since 1997, Bridgeman has proudly represented the Ashmolean museum for image licensing and some of its most prominent collections. Recently, our archive has expanded with new photography, some of which is highlighted in this feature. 

Explore more than 3,000 artworks within the Ashmolean Museum

 

Highlights of the Western art collection

The Western Art Department houses an impressive range of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from the 12th century to the present day. The collection includes John Ruskin’s Teaching Collection, watercolours and paintings by Turner and The Pissarro Family Archive.

The Print Room contains works on paper including superlative works by RaphaelLeonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo as well as an unrivalled collection of Samuel Palmer’s Shoreham works.

Masterpieces such as Paolo Uccello's Hunt in the Forest and Claude Lorrain's Ascanius shooting the Stag of Sylvia are also on view in the galleries and in the Bridgeman archive.

 

The Hunt in the Forest (detail) c.1465-70 (oil on panel)/ Paolo Uccello (1397-1475)
The Hunt in the Forest (detail) c.1465-70 (oil on panel)/ Paolo Uccello (1397-1475)

 

 

Hippopotamus figurine, from Grave 134 at Hu, c.3500-3000 BC (coarse red ware pottery), Egyptian, Predynastic Period
Hippopotamus figurine, from Grave 134 at Hu, c.3500-3000 BC (coarse red ware pottery), Egyptian, Predynastic Period

 

Antiquities

From its beginning, the Ashmolean has been linked with the study of antiquities and the development of the modern field of archaeology.

The museum houses the finest pre-dynastic Egyptian collection in Europe including a charming hippopotamus in red pottery with jaws gaping wide. 

The Ashmolean also has one of the best collections of Anglo-Saxon material in the country and one of its treasures is the Alfred Jewel, dating from the late 9th century.

Find out More

In 2014, Dr Alexander Sturgis was appointed as the new Director of the Ashmolean. He previously had a distinguished career as the Director of the Holburne Museum of Art in Bath.

Visit the Ashmolean Museum's website 

Contact our sales team for enquiries about licensing images and clearing copyright.

 

Interior of Turner's Gallery, George Jones/ Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford/ Bridgeman Images
Interior of Turner's Gallery, George Jones/ Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford/ Bridgeman Images

 


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