Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Housed in an iconic Norman Foster building in Norwich, the SCVA contains an exceptional collection of artworks from around the world.


Watch our video, featuring art historian and broadcaster Philip Mould, and SCVA's Director, Paul Greenhalgh; and view our gallery, below.

Sitting on the edge of the University of East Anglia's campus, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) was the brainchild of Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury, who donated their collection of modern and ethnographic art to the university in 1973. The original gift of 300 objects has since expanded into a vast collection that embraces artefacts spanning over 5,000 years of human history, and the museum also organises several temporary exhibitions each year. 

The gallery is housed in a listed masterpiece of modern architecture; in the past few years the building's original architects, Foster+Partners, have designed additional facilities, including the largest contiguous space for temporary exhibitions in eastern England; new spaces for the permanent collections; two galleries themed around modern and contemporary art; and a shop, café and leisure area.

On 14 September 2013, SCVA relaunched with a complete redisplay of the permanent collection and its largest and most ambitious exhibition to date, Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia. This exhibition explored the artistic heritage of the region from prehistory to the present and received widespread critical attention. In the same year, the centre more than doubled its annual attendance.

Paul Greenhalgh, Director of the SCVA, said: 'I am delighted that the Sainsbury Centre has been shortlisted for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year Award 2014. The last year has seen all of our dreams realised with new facilities and the complete redisplay of our permanent collection. This and our most ambitious exhibition, Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia, has achieved all the goals we set ourselves: it has placed the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in the public eye, not only in the region but also nationally and internationally, as well as establishing us as a museum and art gallery with temporary spaces to rival the best on offer anywhere.'

Download or stream our free audio guide to the SCVA, provided by VocalEyes, a nationwide audio description charity that provides access to the arts for blind and partially sighted people.

Sainsbury Centre For Visual Arts audio guide – Museum of the Year by Art Fund


Venue details

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts University of East Anglia, Norwich Norfolk NR4 7TJ 01603 593199 www.scva.org.uk

Entry details

Free entry to permanent collection

50% off exhibitions with National Art Pass

Open all year

Tue - Fri, 10am - 6pm
Sat - Sun, 10am - 5pm

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