Beasts or Best Friends? Animals in Art
16 October 2015 – 13 March 2016
Exploring how the dynamic between the animal world and humankind has been depicted in art.
Adored as pets, worshipped as gods, exploited for food and hunted for sport, this exhibition examines the complexity of our relationship with animals.
The museum has a significant amount of animal art in its collection; on display are works by James Ward, Edwin Landseer and Lucy Kemp-Welch, as well as examples by local artists. These are shown alongside key pieces by Barry Flanagan, Henry Moore and Maggie Hambling, on loan from Southampton City Art Gallery.
Supplementing the display is ethnographic material from Papua New Guinea, China, Japan, India and Egypt, collected by the museum’s founders, Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes on their globe-trotting travels at the end of the 19th century.