Jeff Koons, American artist, has been called everything from genius to controversial. The Oxford institution, the Ashmolean Museum is showcasing 17 of his major works this year. Jess went on a day out with the girls to see what it was all about.

The Ashmolean Museum

Travel

We love a date day that involves a bit of travel, and this one with friends was no different! Oxford is so easy to get to from London, and there are so many ways! We ended up getting the train as it was quicker for us as we had a time limit. However, there are many other ways, including “Oxford Tube” and other buses, train from Paddington or Marylebone and of course, driving.

Sushi decisions looking at the menu

Lunch

Oxford is an amazing city, and there is so much choice for food and drink. But, we were on a boujie mission for sushi. Having done our research we ended up at Sushi Mania, a very short walk from both the station and the Ashmolean museum. After walking into the restaurant next door by accident, we decided that their lunchtime half price offer would be better value for us than the all you can eat offer. We were right. We were so well fed, the sushi was brilliant, and the restaurant was vibrant, and the bill came to less than £9 per person. Perfect! Would highly recommend a visit!

Sushi Mania lunch Sushi

Exhibition

The exhibition takes place at the Ashmolean, and is on until June 9th. The Ashmolean is an Oxford institution in itself, showing loads of bits of history and antiquity that you won’t see elsewhere. But then again, I am biased as I wrote my masters dissertation on one of the cameras on display there! The Jeff Koons exhibition  itself was awesome.

Jeff Koons Steel Balloon pink

Jeff Koons steel balloon ballet dancer

It showed off 17 of his works, from the most famous steel balloon pieces (no dogs!), to the more interesting and developed gazing ball pieces. There was also a video with the curator of the exhibition interviewing Jeff Koons. They talk about the pieces, the reason for showcasing it in Oxford and other interesting facts about his career, well worth a watch too!

Jeff Koons Gazing ball

It’s not cheap at about £12 for an adult ticket, but they do concessions and other passes work there too. More importantly, the money goes to help keep the museum up and running and up to date. This is something we feel passionate about with museums out of London! We forget how lucky we are in the UK with so many free museums.

Jeff Koons tickets

Other things to do

There are so many things to do in Oxford that it would be mad not to go on a day trip. In fact, we’re considering going again to write a whole post for you on what to do. You can visit the sites of the colleges, and the Camera and the Bodlean Library. If you wanted you could also do a free walking tour, or a boat tour. Or you could go punting! There are at least four different museums to visit, and there are a load of other famous sites to see. The high street is very good for shopping. Mostly, there is so much literary history in the town you could hunt up the sites that inspired books such as Alice in Wonderland and the Lord of the Rings.

Oxford Castle

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Tickets for this exhibition were gifted on request.