The Arnolfini is an arts centre and gallery in Bristol, England. It has a programme of contemporary art exhibitions, live art, music and dance events, poetry and book readings, talks, lectures and cinema. There is also a specialist art bookshop and a café bar. Educational activities are undertaken and experimental digital media work supported by online resources. A number of festivals are regularly hosted by the gallery. Arnolfini is funded by Bristol City Council and Arts Council England, with some corporate and individual supporters.
The gallery was founded in 1961 by Jeremy Rees, and was originally located in Clifton. In the 1970s it moved to Queen Square, before moving to its present location, Bush House on Bristol's waterfront, in 1975. The name of the gallery is taken from Jan van Eyck's 15th century painting, The Arnolfini Portrait. Arnolfini has since been refurbished and redeveloped in 1989 and 2005.
Jeremy Rees started Arnolfini with the assistance of his wife Annabel, and the painter John Orsborn in 1961. The original location was above a bookshop in the Triangle in Clifton, Bristol. In 1968, Rees was able to give up his teaching job and with the aid of private funding and Arts Council funding relocated the gallery to Queen Square, then to E Shed, the current home of the Watershed Media Centre. In 1975, Arnolfini moved to its present home in Bush House, occupying two floors of a 19th century Grade II* listed tea warehouse situated on the side of the Floating Harbour in Bristol city centre. The remainder of the building was office space leased out by developers JT Group.