Housing Wales’s national art, natural history and geology collections, and temporary exhibitions


VCNM logo - orangeSituated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre, today National Museum Cardiff houses Wales’s national art, natural history and geology collections, as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions. If you want to stand and stare, there’s plenty to please your eye – from Impressionist paintings to gigantic dinosaurs. For exploring you can pick up a range of gallery trails to guide you around the Museum.

The Art collection includes one of the finest collections of Impressionist paintings in Europe. See five hundred years of magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the world. The Museum also has the largest space in Wales for the display of modern and contemporary art. Artists on show include Monet, Renoir, Rodin, Cézanne, Turner, Degas, Magritte, Graham Sutherland, and Welsh-born Richard Wilson, Thomas Jones and Sir William Goscombe John, plus pre-Raphelite works from Victorian Britain and British landscape art.

The Natural History galleries house animals, birds and insects from Wales and all over the world, including the world’s largest Leatherback Turtle, an enormous basking shark and the huge skeleton of a Humpback Whale. Discover the diverse natural history of Wales on this expedition from the seashore to the woodland and beyond. Enjoy the spectacular gallery scene based on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, one of the most important seabird colonies in north-west Europe and discover springtime in our Welsh oak woodland.

In the Evolution of Wales gallery find out more about the Big Bang 4600 million years ago and how our planet was formed until the last Ice Age, when our modern landscape was shaped. Here you will take a journey through space and time where you

can see real meteorites, a piece of moon rock, spectacular fossils and come face to face with dinosaur skeletons and woolly mammoths.

The museum has something to offer everyone and has a regular programme of events and activities.

Admission Free. Opening times: 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays.

Kizuna Exhibition

June9 September 2018

For centuries, Japan has had one of the world’s most exciting and refined design cultures. From cars and cameras to household items and animation, Japanese design has changed our world and is now part of our everyday lives. In this major new exhibition you’ll see how Japanese culture and design has captivated the rest of the world. You’ll also discover that Wales has played its own distinctive part in this fascinating story of international exchange. In Japanese, Kizuna means the bonds of friendship, which we celebrate in this exhibition.

Many of the works of art on display have come from major Japanese national museums especially for this exhibition and some have never been seen in the UK before.

  • A 400 year old handscroll painted with monsters is a forerunner of modern animation.
  • Magnificent painted screens, measuring more than 1.6m high by 3.6m long, offer panoramic views of Edo (modern Tokyo) in the 18th century.
  • Beautiful costumes, ceramic jars and lacquer ware show off Japan’s highly developed craft skills and love of beautiful materials.
  • There’s even a hi-tech jet ski to show how ancient lacquer decoration is still used in the latest technology today

Yet Europeans have been enjoying Japanese art and design since the 16th century. Four hundred years ago, Sir Thomas Myddleton of Chirk Castle, a founder member of the British East India Company, bought a stunning Japanese lacquered coffer (box or chest for valuables) – now one of the exhibition’s star items. Since then people from Wales and Japan continue to exchange their cultures and their expertise, and the relationship between Wales and Japan is very much alive today.

In Japan, historic and contemporary co-exist to produce a vibrant, unique design culture. In the exhibition you’ll experience the dynamic global appeal of Japanese contemporary culture, alongside beautiful examples of historic art and design.

This exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, National Museum of Japanese History, and National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Additional sponsors include Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Foundation, the Japan Society of the UK, Toshiba International Foundation.


By Car

Junction 32 of the M4. For satnav use the post code CF10 3NP.


From Cardiff Central Bus Station take bus number 53 or 85 to the Museum. From Cardiff Bay take the Bay Car bus number 6. You can plan your journey using the Traveline Cymru website or by calling their helpline on 0300 200 22 33.


The nearest train station is Cathays Station, approximately 5 minutes walk from the Museum.




+44 (0)29 2039 7951




National Museum Cardiff
Cathays Park
CF10 3NP

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