DISCOVERIES: Art, Science & Exploration from the University of Cambridge Museums

31 January – 27 April 2014

An exploration of human discovery in all its forms, this exhibition comprised highlights from over five million objects of the eight University of Cambridge Museums. Discoveries was a celebration of imagination and knowledge, about the pleasures of looking and the power of objects to generate wonder.

Click here to see the BBC Audio Slideshow feature on the Discoveries exhibition

Discoveries marked the first time Cambridge’s unique, world-class collections were drawn together under one roof. Together, they covered the span of human endeavour and exploration, from the minuscule to the majestic, transforming the atmospheric interiors of Two Temple Place into cabinets of curiosity.

The exhibition featured, among many other objects: ancient fossils, fine art, modern Inuit sculpture, Darwin’s only surviving egg from the Beagle voyage, a rare dodo skeleton and a state-of-the art digital instrument that searches for sub-atomic particles in the frozen depths of Antarctica. It looked at the limits as well as the frontiers of knowledge, the intersection between art and science and the connections between visionary thinking and scientifically-observed vision.

The exhibition catalogue is available to download here

To explore the contents of the exhibition further, please see the dedicated Discoveries website from the University of Cambridge Museums


lower gallery #1

Installation view of ‘Discoveries’ at Two Temple Place


Copernicus, James Nasmyth, mid-19th Century. Black and white chalk on paper© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge