Immerse yourself in extraordinary art, natural science and history collections.
Whilst our recommended route provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy our exhibitions at your leisure, we have also put a quick access route in place for those who prefer to go straight to the art galleries. Ask one of our Welcome Team for more details when you arrive.
Our discovery centres have all reopened with new activities to guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for our visitors and staff. Please ask one of our welcome guides on arrival for more information.
Here's what you can look forward to on your visit:
Art (Blue route)
La Belle Époque
A fabulous fashion exhibition of some of the most beautiful outfits from our permanent collection, including two incredibly significant recent donations on display for the first time: a silk satin wedding dress dating from 1896 and a magnificent and historically important court dress with train from dating from 1911. All of the fashion in this exhibition is from the 1870s to the 1910s, a relatively peaceful period in Western Europe often known as La Belle Époque - “the beautiful era.”
Blue Sky Thinking: New Art, New Themes, New Acquisitions
Blue Sky Thinking by Patrick Goddard is a new acquisition to Ulster Museum's collection. This work addresses themes of migration, identity and climate emergency. Goddard’s choice of the non-indigenous parakeets deliberately taps into the current discourse around human migration and border control, and also to the ecological concerns of the artist. Blue Sky Thinking is on display in this exhibition with work from the Ulster Museum’s internationally important sculpture collection including Birdman by Elisabeth Frink, HOME by Willie Doherty and Silent Echoes, a sound sculpture by Bill Fontana.
Light from the West: Irish Art after 1870: The Ulster Museum Art Collection
Irish Art lies at the heart of the Ulster Museum collections. Light from the West focuses on the period after 1870, and includes many familiar and well-loved paintings.
Against The Media: Photography. Media. Manipulation.
'Against The Image: Photography. Media. Manipulation' examines the authority of the photograph in our era of mass media and mass (mis)information. The way we consume news and media imagery has evolved, with access to the world seemingly at our fingertips: is what we see the reality? This temporary exhibition is in partnership with Belfast Photo Festival 2022.
The Bloomsbury Group were a group of artistic and intellectual friends. They came of age just as the conservative Victorian era of the 19th century was ending. As a loose and changing mix of people they were searching for new ways of thinking, living and loving. An extremely privileged group, they were closely connected to British ‘high society’. This wealth and class gave them freedom to live as they desired and time to discuss the philosophies they lived by. The art, literature and ideas generated by the Bloomsbury Group would have an enormous influence on the rest of the twentieth century.
Reimagine Remake Replay: Power to the Young People
Reimagine Remake Replay (RRR) is a ground-breaking creative programme that has connected over 4,000 young people with heritage, through creative media and the latest digital technologies. The project prides itself on its youth-led approach, ensuring museums are spaces where young people’s voices are heard, where their ideas are realised and where their heritage can be creatively reimagined, remade and replayed.
Game of Thrones Tapestry
Spot your favourite moments throughout the 87 metre long handwoven tapestry with depictions of all the key scenes from the internationally successful television series, much of it filmed across Northern Ireland. The tapestry is entirely hand woven, of linen, with cotton and metallic threads used to highlight hand embroidered details. A team of stitchers, drawn from National Museums NI staff and volunteers from local textile guilds worked together in 2017, and again in 2019, to collectively add over 1,000 hours of hand embroidered highlights to the tapestry.
History (Yellow route)
Inclusive Global Histories
Our Inclusive Global Histories exhibition is the start of a journey that Ulster Museum is taking towards decolonisation, diversity and inclusion. Through this exhibition, Ulster Museum is re-evaluating its World Culture collection, to better understand the complex global stories of some 4,500 items - how and why they came to be in Northern Ireland, the ways in which they connect to our audiences and what the options might be for these items in the future.
A Collector's Story: Tom Hartley
This exhibition, which is situated in the Belfast Room, showcases the contribution made to the Ulster Museum’s collection by Tom Hartley, the celebrated local historian and former Lord Mayor of Belfast. Over the years Tom has amassed a collection covering a wide range of items, from a bin lid featuring a portrait of Ché Guevara, to a City Hall flag protest ‘hi vis’ vest. Many of the items from his collection can also be seen in our Troubles & Beyond gallery. A Collector's story includes objects related to his civic life in politics, and ephemera from community groups in West Belfast and beyond.
Nature (Red route)
Take a journey from actinium to zirconium – from the rocks beneath your feet to the most distant and ancient reaches of the universe. In this unique exhibition – the only one of its kind in Europe – you’ll discover what the elements look like, how they occur naturally, how we use them, and why they can be dangerous.
Fossils and Evolution
Explore spectacular fossils from a ‘graveyard’ of tiny ammonite shells to a toothsome, four-metre long fish. See skulls of dwarf elephants and giant deer. Discover why your skeleton isn’t that different from a monkey, a mouse or a mole.