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Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Metaphor developed the museographic vision for thirty two permanent galleries in the new extension to the Ashmolean. The collections cover sculpture, archaeology, decorative arts, ceramics, glassware, furniture and painting. We created the visual language for their context and orchestrated the visitors’ journey through the four exhibition floors of the new building. This new project was designed to broaden the Museum’s appeal, reaching out to families with children as well as experts.

We were involved from concept stage to opening day, designing over 430 bespoke showcases. A key aspect of the project was helping the Museum build up its internal design team; we created Toolkits that the Museum team could use to design select displays. This provided greater variety and pacing than is often the case in large-scale museums.

The new Ashmolean opened in 2009, and the new galleries have been highly acclaimed. The Telegraph stated that "The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, whose interior used to be a Victorian ‘labyrinth’, has been given a clean-cut 21st century, multi-million pound re-fit in a bid to cut ‘museum fatigue’."

Service: Exhibition Design

Client: The Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Cost: £6.3 million

Realisation: 2009

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