Grant Museum of Zoology
Grant Museum Exhibitions
16th March - 27th June 2015
|(C) National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London|
When new regions are explored and the animals in them are 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.
Read more about the exhibition on the Strange Creatures webpage.
Read the press release on the UCL News site.
The Micrarium is a place for tiny things - somewhere to come and explore the microscopic specimens at the Grant Museum.
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.
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.
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 http://www.qrator.org/
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.