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.

BBC Audio Slideshow - On Wednesday 5th February we were featured on the Front Page of the BBC Website

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.

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



Musa Musa Sapientum (Study of a banana plant), Georg Dionysius Ehret, mid-18th century. Watercolour, bodycolour and gum Arabic over graphite outline on vellum.

© Fitzwilliam Museum