Coming up in 2018

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

Happy New Year from everyone at Bristol Museums!

Did you know? Visiting a museum reduces anxiety, reduces stress, makes you less lonely and has a greater impact on your well-being than playing a sport. Plus it’s warm and dry inside!

And since Bristol is Museum Destination of the Year 2018, now is the perfect time to make visiting more museums your New Year’s resolution.

Students and 16-25 year olds

From January, students and 16-25 year olds will get free entry to all our paid exhibitions every Wednesday. Plus 20% off books in the shop and £2 teas/coffees in the cafe! Our paid exhibitions this year are:

Groups of 10 people or more need to be booked in advance by contacting our bookings team. A booking fee of £35 applies.


Exhibition and event highlights 2018

A Chinese lion in action

Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog
17 – 18 February
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Celebrate the Year of the Dog with spectacular traditional and contemporary performances, workshops and activities. There will be stalls throughout the museum featuring different elements of Chinese culture, Chinese goods in the shop and a delicious Chinese inspired menu in the cafe!

The Year of the Dog starts on 16 February. According to the Chinese Zodiac, the dog symbolises honesty, loyalty and friendliness.

Find out more about Chinese New Year: Dog

Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences
31 March—24 June 2018
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
A vibrant tapestry by Grayson Perry appearing in the Vanity of Small Differences exhibitionSix large tapestries exploring the British fascination with taste and class by one of the UK’s best-known and best-loved artists.

Inspired by Hogarth’s morality tale, A Rake’s Progress, Perry’s tapestries follow the socially-mobile life of fictional character Tim Rakewell from infancy to untimely death. Crammed with acutely observed detail, these beautiful, ornate pieces invite us all to think about our own attitudes to class and the structure of our society as a whole.

Find out more about Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences.


Bristol Music
19 May—23 September 2018
M Shed
A crowd of people surging towards a stage in Filwood 1964Bristol is one of the UK’s key ‘music cities’ in the 21st century. Its emergence as a national musical hub since the 1950s has incorporated a rich mix of styles, genres and sounds.

The creation of these musical cultures has been driven not only by artists and producers but crucially by you – the people of Bristol. But what does Bristol Music mean to you?

Using stories contributed by people from all over the city, this exhibition takes your memories of attending gigs, festivals and clubs, and charts the history of music in Bristol with its host of internationally influential musicians, infamous venues and multitude of sounds.

Find out more about Bristol Music 

The Woman’s Hour Craft Prize
7 July—2 September 2018
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
LYC Haeckel I (detail), 2014, Vellum, Supernatural vellum, hair sheep leather, armature. Image courtesy of Perrier-JouetIncluding the most impressive and creative craft practice in the UK today, this exhibition from the V&A marks the 70th anniversary of BBC Woman’s Hour.

Twelve finalists have been selected for their originality and excellence in concept, design and process. Through huge hand woven willow structures, darned high street hoodies and bespoke bicycles, to unfired clay installations, futuristic glass figures, and jewellery made with 18th-century pins found in the mud of the river Thames, the finalists explore issues ranging from our consumer culture, to the decline of UK manufacturing, and geopolitics.

Find out more about BBC Woman’s Hour Craft Prize.


African Textiles collection Bristol Museum & Art GalleryAfrican Textiles
30 June 2018 – 19 May 2019
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
See a beautiful part of our collection of modern and historical African textiles. From the huge embroidered Nigerian agbada’s to Ghana’s ‘royal’ kente cloth and political kangas from Kenya and Zimbabwe, the exhibition will show woven, embroidered, dyed and printed pattern, both traditional and modern.

Become immersed in their designs, colours, patterns and their personal back stories.


A Japanese print featuring a wave crestingJapanese prints: Masters of Japanese landscape
22 September – September 2019
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Over 50 woodblock prints will explore the development of the landscape tradition in Japan by artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige, including Hokusai’s iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa. Bristol Museums’ collection of Japanese prints includes famous names such as Hokusai, Utamaro and Kuniyoshi but also 70 other artists. It ranks in the top five regional UK collections and it is particularly strong in 18th century works.


A bald eagle starring into the camera lens © Klaus Nigge

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018
20 October – 10 March 2019
M Shed
A staple of Bristol’s cultural calendar, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights.



If that’s all too far ahead in the future, come and see some of our current exhibitions:

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