The Best Art Galleries in Oxford

Modern Art Oxford, Book covers | © Muffinn/Flickr
Modern Art Oxford, Book covers | © Muffinn/Flickr
Photo of Sarah Dawson
30 May 2017

Oxford is famed for its incredible museums and buildings, but the city is also home to some truly fantastic art galleries. Whether you’re a fan of Renaissance painters, or you’re into contemporary art, you’ll find a gallery to educate and inspire right here.

Ashmolean Museum

Map View
Museum exterior
Museum exterior | © Ashmolean Museum
Home to an amazingly diverse collection of artwork and objects from around the world, the Ashmolean is the place to head for a real mix. Here you can expect to see everything from exquisite drawings by High Renaissance master Raphael, to modern Chinese paintings. Arguably the most famous painting at the Ashmolean is Paolo Uccello’s masterpiece, Hunt in the Forest,renowned for its early use of perspective. With such a huge collection of art on offer, give yourself the whole day to explore with a pit stop at the museum’s café or the elegant Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant.

Modern Art Oxford

Although the city is famed for its historical roots, Oxford also boasts a thriving modern art scene. Set up in 1966, Modern Art Oxford is one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary art spaces, which features a regularly changing programme of exhibitions and installations. The gallery’s aim is to make modern art accessible to everyone and as a result, the majority of exhibitions and events it runs are free.

Christ Church Picture Gallery

Art Gallery, Museum, Church, Cathedral
Map View
Not only does this Oxford college have its own cathedral and picturesque meadow, Christ Church also has an incredible collection of Old Master paintings and drawings. These artistic treasures are housed in the beautiful purpose-built gallery, Christ Church Picture Gallery. With around 300 paintings and almost 200 drawings in the collection, you can expect to discover treasures by world-renowned artists including Filippino Lippi, Veronese, Anthony van Dyck, Leonardo, Dürer and Rubens among others. Tie your visit in with a tour around the college and grounds for a fantastic day out.

Aidan Meller Gallery

If you’re in the market to invest in a piece of artwork, you must check out this city centre gallery. Featuring paintings from the Old Masters up to Modern British artists, the Aidan Meller Gallery has a rolling schedule of exhibitions that really inspire. With so many beautiful pieces on display, it’s worth a visit even if you’re just planning that imaginary art collection.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) — Ink and Wash on paper

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