Norwich Contemporary Art Scene / Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts

Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts

The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts is a public art museum with a collection of art works that spans over 5 millennia of human artistic endeavour. The art museum offers a little bit of something for everyone but it is most proud of its collection of modern and contemporary art which includes masterpieces by internationally acclaimed artists including Pablo Picasso. Besides permanent exhibitions, the Sainsbury Centre also holds special exhibitions which change after a few months.

A Brief History of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts

History of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts dates to 1973 when Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury donated their art collection to the University of East Anglia around which the present-day collection was formed. In 1978, the art museum finally opened its doors to visitors in the Norman Foster building that houses its art treasures and delights its visitors ever since.

The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts Modern Collection

Most of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts collection is displayed in the Living Area gallery where can be seen modern European art as well as art works from around the world. These are organised according to their geographical origin. As mentioned earlier, the Sainsbury Centre is especially proud of its Modern Collection which consists of about 700 artworks of over 200 artists. Besides the previously mentioned Pablo Picasso, the collection also includes masterpieces by Edgar Degas, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Amedeo Modigliani, Jacob Epstein and Eduardo Chillida as well as the most recently acquired works by Boris Zaborov, Hiroshi Sugimoti and Yuri Kuper.

Opening Hours

The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. It is closed on Mondays and bank holidays.

Admission Fees

The admission is free but there may be charges for special exhibitions for example the Visual Spa which is open Jan - Jun.

Accessibility for the Disabled

The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts is fully accessible to wheelchairs. On request, manual wheelchair is available, while an electric wheelchair can be booked in advance.

The Sainsbury Centre Gallery Shop offers a variety of books with a focus on arts and crafts, accessories reflecting the art museum’s exhibitions and collection, postcards, gifts, home ware, stationery as well as beautiful pieces of jewellery, crafts and traditional garden furniture many of which are the work of Norwich artisans and are a perfect gift both for yourself, and friends and family.

You can refresh yourself at the Sainsbury Centre Gallery Cafe which is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm (the art museum’s opening hours) and get something to eat at the Sainsbury Centre restaurant that is open from Monday to Friday.

Getting There

The Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts is housed in the Norman Foster building on Earlham Road about 3 miles from the city centre.