From store to show


Mark has been exploring the contents of our collection for the past five years. The Horniman has an off-site storage facility, where over 95% of our Natural History collections are stored. These collections are important for providing material for research and study for all sorts of people. They also provide constant inspiration for public display and we make frequent loans to other museums for their exhibitions and temporary displays.

In Mark’s show, we intend to display his wonderful paintings alongside some of the specimens that inspired them. But before these objects can be installed in the gallery, a whole range of tasks need to happen behind the scenes. One of them is Conservation. First, the condition of every object is assessed. Then individual objects are cleaned and repaired by the Conservators in our Collections, Conservation and Care team. They are responsible for the long-term care and preservation of our collections and some fantastic examples of their handiwork can be seen here. Finally the objects are carefully mounted and displayed by our Exhibitions team.

Donations to our project will help us conserve and prepare specimens as well as helping to provide the appropriate environment to display both Mark’s beautiful paintings and the creatures themselves. Funders who donate £995 will have a chance to join Mark and me for a tour of our collection store to learn more about how we look after our 250,000-strong Natural History Collection and why Mark is so fascinated by many of the specimens we hold.

We’d like to thank everyone who has donated already. Please continue to help us by sharing our project so that we can reach our target and reveal more of the secrets in the Horniman store.

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