Rediscover the home of Northern Ireland’s treasures – past and present. You’re favourite stories and objects are waiting for you.
All of our galleries are open as usual for you to explore. Whilst our one-way flow system 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. With exhibitions of works by Ursula Burke and Elizabeth Frink, we understand the eagerness! Ask one of our Welcome Team for more details when you arrive.
Our Discovery Centres are not available at the moment but we’ll update you here when they are!
Here are some exhibitions you can look forward to on your visit:
Art (Blue route)
Altered States: Elizabeth Frink & Post-War Art
Elisabeth Frink is one of the most important British sculptors of the twentieth century and her work, as with many artists of the post-war generation, can be considered a response to the Second World War. See a selection of Frink’s work alongside other post-war art from our collection in this latest exhibition.
Ursula Buke: A False Dawn
Irish contemporary visual artist Ursula Burke works in porcelain sculpture, embroidery sculpture and drawing, often taking the post-conflict Northern Irish context as a critical point of departure to approach international concerns. Her latest exhibition, A False Dawn showcases beautiful artworks which act as a bridge between the classical ideal with the reality of today’s world.
For centuries, artists provided a window on the world, bringing back views of the familiar and unknown through their eyes. Changing Views looks at the ways that artists have recorded these places and uncovers why they travelled where they did.
Vice Versa explains how men and women continue to redefine gender boundaries, not only in fashion but in day-to-day life, through historical and contemporary pieces from Ulster Museum’s fashion collection.
Irish Art lies at the heart of our collection, and this display, which focuses on the period after 1870, includes some of our best-loved paintings. Here you'll encounter artworks from painters such as Paul Henry and Seán Keating who were inspired by the wild, majestic landscapes of the west of Ireland and the local people there. See later artworks from artists such as Gerard Dillon, Daniel O’Neill, John Luke and Basil Blackshaw who continued this trend in their practice, and of course, don't miss much-loved artworks from our treasured Sir John Lavery collection.
Left Right & Centre
Cornelia Parker is one of the outstanding artists of her generation, and is best known for her highly original, often site-specific, installations. Left Right & Centre is a film Parker made in 2017, in response to the snap General Election of that year. Now part of our collection, see Left Right & Centre on display alongside other 20th and 21st century art. Much of Cornelia Parker’s work deals with the fragility of existence, and she consistently challenges and subverts many of the deeply-held traditions of contemporary society. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic everyday life has been profoundly altered. As we re-emerge in a post-Covid world, Parker’s work challenges us to consider how we perceive and respond to the new and invisible boundaries which now frame our daily lives.
History (Yellow route)
CultureLab is a place to take a good, hard look at the cultural stereotypes that we all know surround us in Northern Ireland. This exhibition poses questions about culture and offers a glimpse into how identities have been, and continue to be, shaped in Ireland and Northern Ireland. See the famous ‘Differences’ blackboard from the hit TV series Derry Girls, on public display for the very first time, and test your preconceptions with an interactive religion calculator quiz.
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and the World Health Organisation Year of the Nurse and Midwife, this timely exhibition in our Belfast Room pays homage to the amazing contribution nursing and midwifery has made to life in Northern Ireland throughout two world wars, The Troubles and right up to present day.
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.