Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery offers a great collection of two and three dimensional art and design from across the world, as well as a wide-ranging archaeological collection of, particularly, objects from Ancient Egypt.
The paintings from the late Nineteenth century and the glassware, ceramics and prints from Asia benefited enormously by a bequest in the late 1940's, from Max Schiller, whose brother, Ferdinand, in addition, collected Chinese ceramics. As a result of this gift the museum has examples of work, for example, by Vuillard, Alma-Tadema and Sisley, as well as glassware from the Tang and Sung dynasties, of great quality. There is much other work of equally high quality including a beautiful Japanese woodblock print of a waterfall by Hokusai.
At certain times of the day and at weekends the museum is full of young children, which is of course an admirable feature but the racket they create can become wearisome. Perhaps like cinemas, museums should arrange noisy days for kids and quiet days for those who want to get close to the art work without being run over or deafened.
There's a good museum shop and cafeteria. The latter is particularly good.
Queen's Road, Bristol BS8 1RL
+44(0)117 922 3599
Google map: bit.ly/f5unHQ
A giant redbrick warehouse sitting between the River Avon and the entrance to the floating harbour in the Cumberland Basin. It's home to environmental think-tanks and the City Council's sustainable development unit. It has a gallery and cafe open to the public. The best part of the centre is the attached Ecohome which anyone is welcome to nose around.
Smeaton Road, BS1 6XN;
tel: 0117 925 0505;
This building had previously been Bedminster library, donated to the city in 1914 by George Wills off the back of profits made by his tobacco company. The books have moved next door and in their place is a spacious gallery with a cafe.
Number One St Peter's Court, Bedminster Parade, BS3 4AQ;
tel: 0117 963 7673;
Dockside contemporary art centre built into a 19th century warehouse. Attached to the galleries is a cinema and an impressively stocked specialist bookshop. The provocative cafe bar, designed by artist Bruce McLean, has seating outdoors perfect for summertime. Next to the outdoor seating is a sculpture of Italian explorer John Cabot looking longingly to the harbour's exit and out to the sea beyond.
16 Narrow Quay BS1 4QA
An independent exhibition space tucked away down a city centre snicket in between the Crown Court and Corn Street. Half the fun is in finding the place. The gallery showcases the work of up and coming new artists and is an escape from the hustle of town.
6 Leonard Lane BS1 1EA
It provides exhibition space, contains a specialist bookshop and architects' offices and runs a series of lectures and events on design and the built environment. A place to glean ideas and to learn more about Bristol's escalating development.
Narrow Quay BS1 4QA
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