The Natural History Museum’s spectacular art collection, one of the largest in Britain, represents works by the world’s greatest natural history artists. Art of Nature selects highlights from more than 500,000 illustrations in the collection to explore the intricate relationship between art and the science of nature over three centuries – from the 1700s to the present day.
Drawings, paintings and sketches of nature combine aesthetic beauty with scientific accuracy, sharply illuminating the close collaboration between artists and western scientists in their endeavours to observe, record and classify nature. The exhibition uncovers the crucial role natural history art has played in increasing our understanding of the natural world, telling fascinating stories of scientific discovery.
Inspired by stories of pioneering artists and naturalists, visitors will understand the importance of illustration in documenting species. Lavish paintings and prints, and insights from the work of modern scientists, trace the development of printing and imaging techniques in producing increasingly accurate records of the world’s changing biodiversity.
Art of Nature is a story the Natural History Museum is uniquely positioned to tell, drawing on our history of research into the diversity of life, and one of the largest collections of natural history artworks on paper. From the classification system developed by Carl Linnaeus in the 1700s, to modern fieldwork and imaging technologies, our scientists continue the work of these pioneering artworks.
Paintings Drawings & Prints
Film & Sound
Available Package Options
Collection and interpretation
More Details About Technical Requirements
Developed as a package scaled from between a 450m2 and a 650m2 display space the exhibition consists of the following components:
Approximately 100 star artworks from the Natural History Museum’s expansive collections with bespoke frames. Full text of the exhibition including section panels and labels for artworks. Media assets such as films, atmospheric sound and other digital content. Design look and feel for the 2D and 3D elements from which each venue can create a detailed design and customised visitor experience. Set of fine art crates for the artworks to travel to and from the venue.
A selection of related retail and publishing products for purchase as an optional add-on package.
The Natural History Museum will prepare the specimens for travel in fine art crates and install/exit at the hosting venue. Hosting institutions are responsible for producing the 3D and 2D designs for the exhibition as well as supplying and installing the showcases and set works to security and conservation specifications.