Grant Museum Exhibitions

Micrarium close up

See listings for all Grant Museum events and exhibitions

Natural Creativity: Sex and Trickery

19th October to 23rd  December 2016 (Museum opening times)

Ocellated wrasse (C) Clara Lacy

Why is the natural world so colourful and varied? This exhibition of drawings by Clara Lacy looks at the myriad of shapes, sizes and behavioural tactics some animals have evolved in order to survive, reproduce and pass on their genes.

It is commonly assumed that animals are born either male or female then reproduce as adults, but things can get much more interesting. Some species change sex over their lifetime, become a grandmother before giving birth, or trick others into thinking they belong to the opposite sex.

Clara Lacy is the Artist in Residence in the Mank Lab at University College London’s Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment. Working closely with the scientists based there, Lacy’s illustrations bring to life their research into the amazing variety of sexual and genetic survival strategies in the animal kingdom.

More information about the exhibition and some of the artworks can be found on our blog.

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