Cambridge is home to the UK’s highest concentration of internationally important museum collections outside London, housing over five million objects in one square mile.
The largest of the nine University museums is the Fitzwilliam Museum, founded in 1816. One of the greatest university museums in the world, the Fitzwilliam is home to art and antiquities of the highest quality and significance. Its collections span centuries and civilisations. Much of the department’s teaching, especially in the first year, takes place amongst the Fitzwilliam’s collections. Entry is free and the museum is situated just a few doors away from the department.
Kettle’s Yard contains a unique collection of important twentieth-century art, amassed by the curator Jim Ede and bequeathed, along with his house, to the university in 1966. The adjoining gallery provides space for a rolling programme of exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. The department also makes use of the Museum of Classical Archaeology and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, amongst others.
In addition to the University museums, many of the individual colleges have their own important art collections, including the New Hall Art Collection at Murray Edwards College, considered the most significant collection of modern and contemporary works by women artists in Europe.