Charting the role of art in communicating discoveries of new animals to the wider world.
From the earliest days of exploration, art has been an essential tool in representing creatures that are alien to people at home. This exhibition – part of a collaboration between Royal Museums Greenwich and four partner institutions to investigate the history of exploration, art and science – centres on George Stubbs' portrait of a kangaroo. Painted following Captain Cook’s initial voyage of discovery, it was Europe’s first image of an Australian animal. The piece was recently saved from export thanks to a fundraising campaign by the National Maritime Museum and Art Fund support.
It is shown alongside other examples of animal art from the ages of the empire, medieval accounts of exotic creatures, contemporary taxidermy and reconstructed dinosaurs.