An edited selection from Discoveries, a major exhibition that brought together 8 collections from the University of Cambridge for a London showing, is coming home to Cambridge for a spell at the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Discoveries displays objects that span millennia; from artworks to scientific artefacts, historic instruments to rare zoological specimens, and for the Cambridge installation, the Botanic Garden has been invited to contribute.
Herbarium collections made by our founder, Professor John Stevens Henslow in the 1820s will be on display from the University Herbarium indicating his early exploration of species variation. The story is continued by the herbarium sheets sent back by Henslow's famous protégé, Charles Darwin, from his voyage on HMS Beagle, 1831-36.
In contrast we have also commissioned a new film, funded by the Friends of the Botanic Garden, and made by Ryd Cook and Lizzy Hobbs. The Life and Times of Victoria Cruziana combines timelapse and mobile phone footage with stunning animation to tell the story of the beetle-kidnapping and sex change antics of the Santa Cruz waterlily, one of the most challenging and captivating plants grown here at the Botanic Garden. Do get to the Fitzwilliam Museum before the end of July to appreciate the company it keeps with the only complete dodo skeleton, the tri-wizard - a digital instrument that searches for subatomic particles in the frozen depths of Antarctica, contemporary Inuit sculpture and much more, for a rich experience of the extent of Cambridge's contribution to knowledge. But if you can't make it, enjoy the youtube showing below!
Discoveries runs from 27 May - 27 July and the Fitzwilliam Museum stays open late til 8pm on Thursday 3 July, for a unique early evening viewing. For more information, visit the Fitzwilliam Museum's website via the link to the left.