In 2012, the Bristol's pride and joy scored a major coup by being chosen as one of the UK Arts Council's "Renaissance Major" partners. That infuses the museum with some 20 million GBP per year until the end of 2015, and has allowed the museum to stage some wonderful exhibits of contemporary art. Not that the museum wasn't notable before. It's housed in an imposing Edwardian neo-Baroque building, and has treasures that appeal to all sorts of museum goers (they're a real hodgepodge to be frank, but a delightful one). These range from exquisite ancient Chinese ceramics; to 19th- and 20th-century British paintings; to collections of locally produced silver, glass, and pottery. There are also Assyrian and Egyptian antiquities (mummies!); costume jewelry; and wings devoted to local archaeology and geology. In 2009, the museum caught the contemporary art world's attention by staging a groundbreaking exhibit of works by the elusive Bansky.
- Frommer's Staff