Barlow Collection of Chinese Art

As museums and galleries across the UK begin to reopen, please take extra care to check their websites and social media channels for up to date information as opening times, days and dates here may not be correct.

University Library University of Sussex Falmer
Brighton & Hove
East Sussex

The Barlow Collection of Chinese Ceramics, Bronzes and Jades was formed by Sir Alan Barlow (1881-1968). Educated at Marlborough and Oxford, Alan Barlow worked as a civil servant in several government departments. He served as Private Secretary to Prime Minister Ramsay Mac Donald in 1933 before transferring to the Treasury where he worked until his retirement in 1948. Much of his career was involved with the financing of education and culture, and Alan Barlow was himself an important link between government and cultural circles. He also served as president of the Oriental Ceramic Society for eighteen years (1943-1961). The bequest of the collection to the University of Sussex in 1974 realised a desire, shared by both Sir Alan and Lady Barlow, that the collection should be used to encourage and interest in Chinese art and culture. Worried that after his death the collection might be dispersed, and possibly sold abroad, Barlow decided to donate it to an institution where it could be used for both teaching and display purposes. Barlow wanted the collection to be used for disseminating knowledge, offering visitors the opportunity of new relationships with traditional Chinese culture as well as allowing them to develop an appreciation of the various aesthetic and tactile qualities of ceramics, jades and bronzes.

Further information

Opening Hours:

Please contact us for details of opening hours The Collection is closed during Christmas, Easter and August. Please contact us for exact dates as these may vary from year to year.


Admission is free although donations toward the care of the collection are always appreciated.

Upcoming events:

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.

Facilities and services


  • Refreshments
  • Wheelchair access to all public areas

Facilities information:

Wheelchair access to the Library building is available. Toilets are available in the Library building and throughout the campus.


  • Teaching/resources available for HE/FE students

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