Our history

The Museum of Modern Art Oxford was founded in Oxford by architect Trevor Green in 1965. Its primary aim was ‘the advancement of education of the general public in the modern visual arts’. In September 1966, the Museum of Modern Art moved to a new home in the old brewery building on Pembroke Street, where we have been ever since. In 2002, we changed our name to Modern Art Oxford, a change that better reflected the gallery’s status as a ‘kunsthalle’, a home for a vibrant, changing programme of international art, rather than a museum.

Now, Modern Art Oxford is considered one of the UK’s most important galleries of modern and contemporary art. Paul Hobson was appointed as Director in April 2013 and took up the position in  September.

In our 48-year history, we have worked with some of the most illustrious names in the contemporary visual arts – as artists, exhibition organisers and directors. Directors have included: Michael Stanley (2009-12), Peter Ibsen (1970-73), Nicholas Serota (1973-76) and David Elliot (1976-96). Some of the world’s greatest artists have held significant, often ground-breaking exhibitions in our Pembroke Street galleries, including: Richard Long (1971); Sol Le Witt (1973) Joseph Beuys (1974); Donald Judd (1995); Marina Abramovic (1995); Carl Andre (1997), Yoko Ono (1997), Tracey Emin (2002), Jim Lambie (2003) Mike Nelson (2004), Jannis Kounellis (2004), Daniel Buren (2006) Gary Hume (2008). Howard Hodgkin (2010), Thomas Houseago (2010), Graham Sutherland (2011), Jenny Saville (2012) and Simon Starling (2013).

We will be adding information on all of our past exhibitions gradually to our on-line archive. In the meantime, if you wish to find out more about our past exhibitions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Students and researchers are encouraged to make an appointment to visit our Gallery archive.

Building Pre 1987

Modern Art Oxford pre 1987