Grant Museum Exhibitions

iPad in the Grant Museum

Glass Delusions

1st October - 19th December 2015

(C) Eleanor Morgan
  (C) Eleanor Morgan  

How do minerals become living things? In this exhibition of prints, drawings, videos and objects, Artist in Residence Eleanor Morgan explores the slippery boundary between living and non-living materials. Her work is inspired by the Grant Museum's collection of intricate glass sponges – animals that naturally build themselves out of glass – they are formed of 90% silica.

Over the last year, Eleanor Morgan has been the Leverhulme Trust funded Artist in Residence at the Grant Museum of Zoology. Investigating the collection of glass sponges, Eleanor has been exploring glass as a material, its cultural significance and how living and inorganic glass interact.

Glass Delusions
is an exhibition of new work inspired by the Museum’s collection, the conversations she has had with biologists, chemists, geologists and engineers along the way, and the challenge of re-animating a museum of dead creatures.

Visit the exhibition website for more opening times, events, blogs, and more information.

QRator: Current Questions and iPads

iPad in the Grant Museum

The Grant Museum is a centre for discussion and dialogue. Ten of our displays have iPads attached asking visitors to get involved in conversations about the role of science in society and how museum should be run. Visitors can respond on our iPads, on their own smart phones using QR codes or the Tales of Things App, via Twitter using #GrantQR and @uclmuseums or on their home computers.

Get involved in the conversations at

These questions will change every few months. The project - called QRator - has been developed in partnership with UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and UCL Digital Humanities, funded by UCL Public Engagement Unit.

The Micrarium: A Place for Tiny Things

Permanent installation


The Micrarium is a place for tiny things - somewhere to come and explore the microscopic specimens at the Grant Museum.

It’s often said that 95% of known animal species are smaller than your thumb, but have you noticed how most museums fill their displays with big animals? We intend to right this wrong, and in January 2013 we built The Micrarium.

We have converted an old office/storeroom into a beautiful back-lit cave displaying some of the tiniest specimens in the collection, on wall-to-wall microscope slides. Museums very rarely display objects like this, and we are experimenting with an aesthetic way of doing so.

Video and more information are on the UCL News page and there are a number of posts about it over on our blog.

"Viewpoint" by Sara Cameron

Permanent installation


Artist Sarah Cameron from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art was commissioned to develop a huge mural for the Grant Museum's foyer. What she came up with was a trompe l'oeil of a museum cabinet filled with our objects.

The painting has been made so that from the angle and height of the artist’s eye, the solid wall looks like a three dimensional cabinet, enticing the viewer – in a quest to align and distort the illusion – to a position of questioning.

The shifting perspective is indicative of the individual nature of peoples’ experiences of the collection. This runs parallel to the Museum’s perceived role: the pursuit of taxonomic investigation. The collection is modified according to its viewer.

The painting was made without the use of digital aids, grids or formulae. You can read more about the artistic concept and process here.

Previous Exhibitions