THE Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has been bringing its 19th century art galleries up to date with a major refurbishment.

The revamp was prompted by a gift from two of the Beaumont Street museum’s most generous supporters, Barrie and Deedee Wigmore, who are keen collectors of late 19th century furniture, metalwork and ceramics.

Their gift included important pieces by Wedgwood and major works by London pottery manufacturers the Martin brothers.

The galleries will reopen on Friday, May 13 and feature the return of a bookcase by William Burges.

Curator Matthew Winterbottom said: "Between 1859 and 1862, Burges commissioned 14 artists, most of whom were associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Movement, to paint the 10ft bookcase with scenes depicting the Pagan and Christian Arts.

"They included Edward Burne-Jones, Stacy Marks, Albert Moore, Edward Poynter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Simeon Solomon.

"The bookcase has been on loan to the V&A Museum and Knightshayes Manor since the 1950s."