National Museum Cardiff is located in the building originally constructed as a home for the National Museum of Wales, which was founded in 1905, with a royal charter being granted in 1907. National Museum Cardiff is currently one of seven national museums spread throughout Wales, forming a family of educational centres run by Amgueddfa Cymru – the overall organisation of the National Museum Wales.
Located in the heart of the elegant Edwardian centre of Cardiff, National Museum Cardiff is home to the vast majority of Wales’ national art collection, as well as significant exhibitions of both natural history and geology. There are also a good number of both temporary and touring exhibitions that are put on at the National Museum throughout the year.
Whatever you’re looking for in a museum experience, whether it be fine Impressionist paintings or gigantic dinosaurs, there’s plenty to catch your eye. Classic masterpieces and contemporary gems are on display, and the well maintained art galleries cover over five hundred years’ worth of drawings, sculpture, paintings and ceramics – both nationally from the Welsh people and also from artists across the globe.
The National Museum’s national history galleries are there to help visitors discover the home of animals, birds and insects from all over the Welsh and global landscape. The Evolution of Wales covers the millions of years it has taken to form the country of Wales, right from the point where Earth was formed during the Big Bang.
The Insight gallery, which opened in 2011, tells the story of the research that happens ‘behind-the-scenes’ at the Museum. The world class research and preservation techniques continue to play a big role in the museum’s life, and the Insight gallery helps explain the research findings to the wider public, providing much deeper insight into biodiversity, geology and the relevance of our research to the global community.
The Clore Discovery Centre offers a more hands-on experience, letting visitors explore museum objects such as insects, fossils and Bronze Age weapons. The Discovery centre provides part of the education offering at the National Museum, and lets you get to grips with some of the 7.5 million items normally housed in the extensive archives. Although as an institution, it is not the oldest of the National Museums of Wales, Cardiff is certainly the largest, and is home to a fine art collection of international reputation. Showing the whole story of Wales, the displays include artefacts and items showing the evolution of over 900 Sites of Special Scientific Interest that are scattered throughout the country.