The Museum of Ordinary Animals opens at the Grant Museum

7th September 2017

Ordinary Animals

Dogs, pigeons, cats, cows, chickens and mice - The Museum of Ordinary Animals tells the story of the boring beasts that have changed our world.

We tend to take these animals for granted since they are such a normal part of our lives, but these often overlooked creatures have had a profound impact on humanity and the natural world. In this free exhibition, we’ll be investigating where they came from, and the extraordinary things we have learned from them.

Dog nose

The exhibition will include a wide range of objects exploring archaeology, art, zoology and the history of science, and will feature stories from cutting-edge research taking place at University College London that investigates 'Ordinary Animals' in the wider contexts of culture and the environment. Exhibits include a wall of 4000 mice skeletons hand-collected from islands across the world; a brand new (ethically sourced) taxidermy chicken; famous animal-based artworks from UCL Art Museum’s collection; and Egyptian cat mummies and what may be the world’s oldest veterinary text, on loan from The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.

Lucky cats

“Ordinary Animals are everywhere, and the ways they interact with our lives are endless and varied”, said Jack Ashby, Manager of the Grant Museum, “We have invited them into our homes as pets; their role in our diets has changed us biologically; they are critical to modern medicine and they hold huge symbolic value in many cultures. This exhibition aims to shed light on the profound ways that these familiar creatures have changed both the human and natural worlds”.


Pigeon Skeleton © UCL 

"Before humans, there were no 'Ordinary Animals'. We created them – either physically, through the process of domestication; or conceptually, through the ways we consider common wild species.” 

We hope you'll join us in giving these animals the attention they deserve! Check out more about the exhibition and linked events.



Share this: