The Ashmolean Museum known in full as the Ashmolean museum of Art and Archaeology was founded in 1677. It was the world’s first university museum; its first building was built to house the cabinet of curiosities of Elias Ashmole.
Some of the very first works featured in the museum were of Elias Ashmole very own work which he collected himself.
The Collection began in the 1620’s with a handful of portraits and curiosities displayed in a small room on the upper floor. In 1636 and 1657 the Archbishop Laud and Ralph Freke added their own collections to the exhibition of mostly coins and medals.
The new extension was completed in 1894 and the two institutions were merged in 1908 to form the museum you see at this present day.
As a result of the merging of the two very different institutions, the present Ashmolean contains both art and artefacts from across a wide range of cultures.