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.
Mainie Jellett (1897-1944): Translation and Rotation
Mainie Jellett has been credited as the driving force that brought abstract art to Ireland. This exhibition will explore her journey to that point and beyond, celebrating her impact and the placement of women at the centre of Irish modernism.
Collage: A Political Act
Collage: A Political Act explores how artists use existing images to create new works, often prompting discussion through their bold statements, choice of subject and how they voice their frustrations. With pieces spanning a hundred years this exhibition plays with the idea that collage changes how we look at images. The familiar structure of the images are broken, and as viewers we are asked to consume them differently and subsequently challenge how we look at the world around us.
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.
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.
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.