What's on at the Grant Museum

Strange Creatures: The art of unknown animals

Strange Creatures: The art of unknown animals

Date: 16th March - 27th June | Time: Monday to Saturday 1pm to 5pm (closed Thurs-Tues of Easter weekend) | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: All

When new regions are explored and the animals in them discovered, how does the wider world get to experience these species? From the earliest days of exploration, art has been essential in representing creatures that are alien to people at home.

The Strange Creatures exhibition will explore the world of animal representations, featuring the painting of a kangaroo by George Stubbs which was recently saved for the nation. It was painted following Captain Cook’s first “Voyage of Discovery” and is Europe’s first image of an Australian animal.

Palaeontologists and historians of science, exploration and art from across University College London will tell stories from their own disciplines. Featuring medieval accounts of exotic creatures, art from the ages of exploration and empire, contemporary taxidermy and reconstructions of dinosaurs based on cutting-edge engineering principles, this exhibition questions how unknown animals are communicated to the wider public.

Strange Creatures: the art of the unknown animals, is part of Travellers' Tails a collaboration between Royal Museums Greenwich and four partner museums to investigate the history of exploration, art and science.

Read more on the exhibition website.

Image credit (c) National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

020 3108 2052 | zoology.museum@ucl.ac.uk

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Date: 6th June | Time: 1.15pm to 1.45pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

Join Strange Creatures Curator Jack Ashby on tours of the exhibition exploring the themes of discovery and Australian wildlife.

This event is free and there is no need to book.

This event is part of the Strange Creatures: The art of unknown animals event series.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Show 'n' Tell: Australian Encounters

Show 'n' Tell: Australian Encounters

Date: 5th June | Time: 1pm to 2pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

We have invited the co-curators of the Strange Creatures exhibition to showcase an object from the Museum’s collection of 68,000 to share their Strange Creatures research. Professor Margot Finn will be joining us after having rummaged through the drawers and cupboards to choose her object. Find out more Margot’s research on the history of Australia’s first European settlers and their experiences of the almost unbelievable world they encountered.


Don’t worry if you can’t stay for the whole hour, doors open at 1pm with the talk starting at 1:15pm and lasts around 30 minutes after which the speaker will be on hand to show you in more detail her chosen object for the last 15 minutes. Stay for the whole hour or just dip in for the talk over your lunchtime and discover the stories hidden away in our collection.

This event is free and there is no need to book.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Explore Zoology

Explore Zoology

Date: 6th June | Time: 1pm to 4.30pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Families

We have rifled through our drawers and searched through our cabinets to bring out some of our most amazing animals for our family hands-on specimen based activities. Ever wondered what the skin of a python feels like or how sharp a shark’s tooth is or how many spots a leopard has? Well, bring along your budding zoologists and be inspired to ask these questions and many more with our enthusiastic museum educators. Come along and be amazed at the natural world.

Drop in between 1pm and 4.30pm, this event is free and there is no need to book.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Date: 10th June | Time: 1.15pm to 1.45pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

Join Strange Creatures Curator Jack Ashby on tours of the exhibition exploring the themes of discovery and Australian wildlife.

This event is free and there is no need to book.

This event is part of the Strange Creatures: The art of unknown animals event series.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Focus on the Positive

Focus on the Positive

Date: 10th June | Time: 6.30pm to 9pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

Worried about the world's problems? Focus on the Positive is an event that gives you a chance to make things better. Join us to hear UCL researchers pitch their ideas, and you can actually help to decide which ones will get funded.

The winning researcher gets a £2000 prize to fix the world and one runner up wins £1000.

For a very special Focus on the Positive, the Grant Museum welcomes some of UCL’s inspiring researchers who will tackle the big issues of today, inspired by the collection. They might want to use the money to bring their research into the real world, start a project or work with a charity. It’s a great opportunity to debate some big questions, meet people who are passionate about changing the world, and make a difference.

This event is free and there is no need to book, during the evening there will be a paid bar with all proceeds going conservation of our historic collection.

This event is free and there is no need to book.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Looking at Strange Creatures: Seminar Day

Looking at Strange Creatures: Seminar Day

Date: 13th June | Time: 10am to 3.30pm | Location: UCL Quad Pavilion Tent, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6BT | Price: Free, but there is a £3 booking fee | Age group: Adults

Take a closer look at some strange creatures with our seminar study day and find out more about how art has been used to communicate ideas about animals to the world. Over the course of the day you'll hear from some of the exhibition co-curators and guest speakers, they include:
Markman Ellis, Queen Mary University: The spectacle of the kanagaroo
ATM: Painting endangered birds on the street
Sarah Wade, UCL: Crativism and re-introducing wonder into natural history museums
Bob Mills, UCL: Sovereignty and the Beast - Political Animals in Medieval Art

You'll also get a chance to have a private viewing of the Strange Creatures and get up close to some of our amazing specimens. The day will include a free lunch and refreshments and a chance to meet our speakers.

Strange Creatures: the art of the unknown animals, is part of Travellers' Tails, a collaboration between Royal Museums Greenwich and four partner museums to investigate the history of exploration, art and science funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Art Fund.

This event is free but there is a booking fee of £3 and booking is essential visit http://strangecreaturesseminar.eventbrite.co.uk to book a ticket.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Date: 17th June | Time: 1.15pm to 1.45pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

Join Strange Creatures Curator Jack Ashby on tours of the exhibition exploring the themes of discovery and Australian wildlife.

This event is free and there is no need to book.

This event is part of the Strange Creatures: The art of unknown animals event series.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

DINOSAURS! Of Victorian London

DINOSAURS! Of Victorian London

Date: 23rd June | Time: 6.30pm to 9pm | Location: J.Z. Young Theatre, Anatomy Building, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

Strange Creatures After Hours
The night owls amongst you can join the bats, aardvarks, hedgehogs and other nocturnal specimens to enjoy Strange Creatures After Hours. Animals have been presented in bizarre and the incredible ways, come take another look at the natural world with our film night, late opening, open mic night, talks and drawing sessions.


The Crystal Palace dinosaur models were unveiled in 1854 and took the world by storm starting the original Dinomania. These beastly models were the first anyone had ever seen of dinosaurs and left a lasting impression. Join historian of science and Strange Creatures co-curator Professor Joe Cain as he shares how these models, still on display today, were important in shaping the public’s perceptions of dinosaurs. This event is followed by free drinks reception and a private view of the Strange Creatures exhibition.

This event is free, there is no need to book

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Strange Creatures exhibition tour

Date: 24th June | Time: 1.15pm to 1.45pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

Join Strange Creatures Curator Jack Ashby on tours of the exhibition exploring the themes of discovery and Australian wildlife.

This event is free and there is no need to book.

This event is part of the Strange Creatures: The art of unknown animals event series.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Creating Strange Creatures

Creating Strange Creatures

Date: 27th June | Time: 1pm to 4pm | Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE | Price: Free | Age group: Families

The Museum has many amazing animals on display but some have to be seen to be believed. Come along and be inspired by the natural world to create your own animal artwork with a Museum artist inspired by George Stubbs’ painting of the kangaroo.

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk

Empire of the Ants (1977)

Empire of the Ants (1977)

Date: 8th July | Time: 6.30pm to 9pm | Location: J.Z. Young Theatre, Anatomy Building, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT | Price: Free | Age group: Adults

Described as a cross between Love Boat and Jaws the Grant Museum of Zoology Film Club presents EMPIRE OF THE ANTS. With a star studded cast that includes Joan Collins and Robert Lansing, Empire of the Ants presents a world where these insects have grown to gigantic proportions and enslaved the human race. Join Historian of Biology and film-buff Professor Joe Cain who will introduce the film. You’ll never look at ants in the same way again. The film is followed by a free drinks reception in a private view of the Museum.

This event is free, there is no need to book

020 3108 2052 | d.veall@ucl.ac.uk