About the Museum
Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. From ancient Egyptian artefacts to contemporary art, the collection spans thousands of years of human civilization. The museum claims to hold the world’s greatest collection of Raphael drawings and the most important collection of Egyptian pre-Dynastic sculpture outside Cairo, as well as the foremost collection of modern Chinese painting in the Western world. The museum’s collection is founded upon the the University Art Collection, originally housed in the Upper Reading Room in the Bodleian Library, and the collection of "miscellaneous curiosities" belonging to John Tradescant the elder which later passed to Elias Ashmole who insisted it should be displayed in a purpose-built museum.