So what will the new Ashmolean be like? A stunning new building, designed
by world-renowned architect Rick Mather, will replace all but the original
1845 Cockerell Building.
Arranged over five floors with level access throughout, it will provide
39 new galleries and 100% more display space than the former building.
This will allow us to display thousands of objects previously in storage.
Advanced environmental controls will allow even the most rare and fragile
items to be displayed. An extensive temporary exhibition space will enable
the Ashmolean to host crowd-pulling ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions.
A purpose-built Education Centre, with its own entrance, will be created,
as well as three new study centres with hands-on access to reserve collections,
greatly improving our provision for the needs of school parties and scholars,
as well as the general public. State-of-the-art conservation facilities
will transform our ability to care for the Museum’s treasures.
A rooftop restaurant will provide a spectacular setting for rest and
Rare coats, common threads
These two beautiful 19th-century garments – a robe from Beijing,
China and a coat from Kashgar, Central Asia – were made thousands
of miles apart, and each is a fine example of its specific culture. Yet,
at the same time, they have a great deal in common in terms of function
and design, most notably the elaborate embroidered roundels, which are