The strength of the Ashmolean collection is with the large number of Indian and Himalayan style sculpture along with a small collection of very fine paintings that have been kept in excellent condition.
History of the Ashmolean
"The present Ashmolean was created in 1908 by combining two ancient Oxford institutions: the University Art Collection and the original Ashmolean Museum. The older partner in this merger, the University Art Collection, was based for many years in what is now the Upper Reading Room in the Bodleian Library. The collection began modestly in the 1620s with a handful of portraits and curiosities displayed in a small room on the upper floor. In 1636 and 1657, Archbishop Laud and Ralph Freke added notable collections of coins and medals, later installed in a strong room of their own and now incorporated into the Ashmolean coin collection." (The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology Britain's oldest public museum, Oxford, England).