The School of Art Gallery and Museum is an MLA Accredited Museum that has an extensive teaching and research collection of fine and decorative art that spans from the 15th century to contemporary. The School of Art Museum and Gallery is just a few minutes’ walk away from Aberystwyth town centre and railway station. Housed in a magnificent Edwardian Grade II listed building in its own grounds on the Buarth hill, overlooking Cardigan Bay. Our public galleries at the School of Art display an interesting and varied selection of changing exhibitions from the fine art collections, by invited artists and touring shows. The Ceramics Gallery is on the lower floor of Aberystwyth University and has a changing programme of exhibitions as well as a permanent display of historic studio pottery.
The School of Art Museum and the Ceramic Collection houses over 20,000 examples of fine and decorative art: prints, photographs, drawings, watercolours, ceramics, paintings and sculpture as well as artefacts from the University’s former Art and Crafts Museum—including archaeological material, ethnographic artefacts, glass, coins and antique furniture. The University has never been able to fund its own Museum, nor today does it benefit from the government funding enjoyed by some of the larger university museums in England. Its achievements have been made possible through Trust Funds and the generosity of its benefactors: George Powell of Nanteos, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies of Llandinam, Sir John Williams, Dr Elvet Lewis, Marian Evans-Quinn and the friends and former students of the University who have contributed financially or made individual gifts and bequests of works of art.
At the core of the fine art are our holdings of European prints (from the 15th century to the present day), drawings, watercolours, photographs and private press books. In addition to the George Powell of Nanteos 1882 bequest of pictures, bronzes and objet d’art, there are over 5,000 wood engravings for periodicals of the 1860s and a fine collection of prints representing the Etching Revival from Whistler to the 1930s. Other significant areas of interest include art in Wales since 1945, contemporary British printmaking, Welsh photography and an outstanding collection of 20th-century Italian photographs. Mindful of their research potential for future generations of students and scholars, the School of Art Museum acquires significant bodies of work representative of individual artist’s careers. Archive material, press reviews, diaries and a photographic record of works have also been made available. In recent years the Collection has significantly benefited from the formation of archives of work and related materials by such artists as Handel Evans, John Elwyn, Derrick Greaves, Bernard Cheese, Edgar Holloway, Rigby Graham, Keith Vaughan, Robin Tanner, Evelyn Gibbs, Robert Austin, John Copley, and Edward Bouverie Hoyton.
The Ceramics Collection comprises contemporary British, European, American, and Japanese studio pottery, 18th & 19th century Welsh and English slip ware, Swansea and Nantgarw porcelain, Art Pottery and Oriental ceramics. Our outstanding collection of early 20th-century British pioneer studio pottery is one of the finest in the UK, so too the internationally renowned holdings of contemporary ceramics.
Today, probably more than ever before, the School of Art Museum collections are making an invaluable contribution to the teaching and research activities of the University. Only a small proportion of the artefacts we hold is on display at any one time; the study collections are available by appointment. The School of Art degree show takes place at the end of the summer term in mid-May showing undergraduate student’s work throughout the whole building. Post-graduate student’s exhibitions take place in the galleries every year.
Access, Location and Opening Hours
The School of Art Galleries.
Open Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:00.
Admission is free
Free parking available-please call in to the School of Art reception for a parking permit.
Toilets with wheel chair access available.
Galleries are closed over Easter, Christmas and the New Year.
Occasionally the galleries are closed while exhibitions are changed or maintenance work is carried out, please check before you visit.
Artefacts from the School of Art Collections are available for study by appointment. Certain artefacts may not always be available in Aberystwyth; individual items or substantial groups of works are regularly loaned to museums and galleries throughout the UK and overseas. We can confirm availability prior to your visit.
Please call well in advance to arrange a visit and to ensure somebody is able to see you.
Our contact details are:
School of Art:
Tel (+0044) 01970 622460 (for general information, enquires and queries)
School of Art,
Ceredigion SY23 ING