The Sainsbury Centre – housed in an iconic Norman Foster building – contains an exceptional collection of several thousand works of art from all over the globe.

To celebrate this incredible collection, hear from the people who know it best as the staff and volunteers pick their personal favourites and share the intriguing stories of why these objects fascinate them.

Journey through the museum alongside writer, comedian and museum enthusiast Josie Long and discover insider intel and untold tales behind the objects on display from a unique perspective.

Field recording

We’ve also partnered with the Field Recordings podcast to bring you an atmospheric clip from beside the lake in the grounds of the Sainsbury Centre.

More about the Sainsbury Centre

Sitting on the edge of the University of East Anglia's campus, the Sainsbury Centre was the brainchild of Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury, who donated their collection of modern and ethnographic art to the university in 1973. The Sainsburys hoped that students and the general public would enjoy the art as they themselves had done, so the displays in the light-filled building are designed to be informal and welcoming.

The original gift of 300 objects has since expanded into a vast collection that embraces artefacts spanning over 5,000 years of human history, most of which are on permanent display. The venue also organises several temporary exhibitions every year.

The Sainsbury Centre was one of the finalists for Museum of the Year 2014. To find out more about why it made the shortlist, watch our video.

Permanent collection

At the heart of the Sainsbury Centre is the art accumulated by the Sainsburys over a period of 60 years. Modern European paintings and sculpture (including examples by Henry Moore, John Davies, Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon) sit alongside pieces from around the globe, sculpture from the ancient world and studio ceramics. Works by the British Vorticists, Russian Suprematists and Constructivists, the Dutch De Stijl group and the German Bauhaus School collected by the university are also on display, their severe aesthetic contrasting with the Art Nouveau pieces donated by Sir Colin and Lady Anderson.

Sainsbury Centre

Free to all

University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7TJ

01603 593199


Opening times

Tuesday – Friday 9am-6pm (exhibitions 9.30am-6pm)
Saturday – Sunday 10am-5pm (exhibitions 10am-5pm)
Closed Mondays, including bank holidays

  • Timed ticketing and one-way system for exhibitions

With a National Art Pass you get

50% off exhibitions

Ready to discover more? Choose your pass

Exhibitions and events at Sainsbury Centre

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