Oxford isn’t known for its galleries, but if you look hard enough it’s filled with small, unexpected (and usually free) exhibition spaces which are perfect for procrastination and an escape from college life.
Working from the traditional downwards, several Oxford museums are showing interesting anthropological collections this autumn. The Ashmolean has a collection of Chinese graphics, while the Pitt Rivers Museum is hosting a never-before-seen series of 1950s Cape Town photography by Bryan Heseltine and, of course, Angela Palmer’s Ghost Forest (those giant tree stumps outside the museum).
The Museum of the History of Science is running a mysterious exhibition called Eccentricity until October 16th, where they will display a selection of eclectic objects along side ‘irregular behaviour’ from museum staff.
Delving into its enormous collection of Old Masters, Christ Church Picture Gallery is curating Clouet to Claude, a selection of French Master drawings, and entry is free to University members.
Featuring a great cafe and shop, with some art thrown in, Modern Art Oxford (across the road from Camera) is running two exhibitions until the 20th of November: a collection of installation, sculpture and sound by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, and a film installation called Dead Star Light by Kerry Tribe.
The O3 Gallery in Oxford Castle is another option for fans of contemporary art, and opening on 15th October is a collection of haunting pinhole photography taken at the castle by Mary Foulkes. Replacing it in mid-November are etchings and drawings inspired by fairy tales, created by Flora McLachlan.
For the intrepid (or the lucky few that live in Jericho), Art Jericho, open Wednesdays to Saturdays, is hosting the Society of Woodcutters annual exhibition, endearingly titled Against the Grain, until October 23rd. The space will then be displaying Querty, text-based art by four international artists.
And finally, The Jam Factory arts centre (also home to a restaurant and marmalade shop) on Park End Street is showing a collection of drawings by John Buckley, and is ending its Marmalade and Manners exhibition today (October 5th) with an art auction for charity, so run along there right now and you can start your very own gallery in your tiny student room.