Ulster Museum 50

We champion diverse voices and new perspectives, challenging inequality and empowering youth

Ulster Museum 50

Since 1972, the Ulster Museum has provided a platform for bold new perspectives.

50 years ago, the white stone and Belfast brick of the old Municipal Museum and Art Gallery, which first opened in 1929, were fused with smooth grey concrete forms to create the iconic original that stands today.

The new museum offered a global perspective at a very dark time in our local history. Across the past five decades, we’ve shone a light on our shared treasures and made space for diverse voices to be heard. At the same time, we’ve encouraged people to look out to the world beyond – bringing everything from dinosaurs to da Vincis here for everyone to enjoy.

Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive at National Museums NI, said: “...The 50th anniversary is an important reminder of the role that the Ulster Museum has played, and will continue to play, in our society..."

For the Ulster Museum's 50th Anniversary, we've made three exhibitions that embody this enduring spirit:


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 Cultures 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.

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Reimagine Remake Replay

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.

To showcase the project as it comes to an end, the group has co-curated a first-of-its-kind exhibition for the Ulster Museum 'Power to the Young People' under the themes of Climate Justice, Arts & Wellbeing and LGBTQIA+ Rights.

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Against The Image

This exhibition 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?

Artists are exposing this tension: between the truth of events and how they are presented. Responding to various global events and conflicts, the artists included here challenge and expose photography’s highly subjective and mediated nature.

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