Write your own history in the Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford have a campaign entitled My Ashmolean My Museum to raise the final part of its 61 million modernisation and expansion.

Award-winning architect Rick Mather has designed a new building to replace all but the Grade I listed Cockerell building. His design will double the existing gallery space, allow environmental control, and create a dedicated Education Centre and conservation facilities. Working in partnership with designers Metaphor, the Ashmolean’s curatorial staff are planning a number of innovative new approaches to the display of the Museum’s objects.

Rick Mather has been the creative force behind a number of recent high-profile developments, including: London’s Natural History Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, and the Wallace Collection; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, USA, and, closer to home, the Sloane Robinson and ARCO buildings at Keble College, Oxford.

The Ashmolean will, at long last, have a world-class building to match its world-class collections.

In return for a minimum support of 50, you can choose to have your name or dedication included on the Benefactors’ Bridge.

To celebrate the launch of the appeal, three new photographs from My Ashmolean My Museum have been produced. Featuring the actor, Sir Ben Kingsley, the architect, Rick Mather, and 8 year-old Oxfordshire resident, Freya Darius-Nobes, their portraits represent themes from the new displays, the building of the new Ashmolean, and the joy of discovering new stories about the collections.

This is such an exciting time at the Ashmolean. I am really pleased to have been asked to get involved. I am lucky enough to live close by to what is a truly world-class museum, looking after treasures from across the globe. My photograph illustrates West meets East one of the themes of the new galleries and a story very close to my own heart. I cant wait to see it on display. Sir Ben Kingsley

My Ashmolean, My Museum is a photographic campaign produced in collaboration with high profile individuals and members of the local community. Each portrait tells a unique story about the Ashmoleans renowned collections of art and archaeology and the sitters relationship with the object.

The fine-art photographer, Theo Chalmers has produced the eye-catching series of portrait photographs to convey the spirit and excitement of the new Museum building, in the lead up to the grand opening in November 2009.

It’s an interesting feature.

Tell us your best story related to a Museum visit…