Curating Ocean Ecology at the Natural History Museum: Miranda Lowe and Richard Sabin in conversation with Pandora Syperek and Sarah Wade

Syperek, Pandora, Wade, Sarah, Lowe, Miranda and Sabin, Richard (2020) Curating Ocean Ecology at the Natural History Museum: Miranda Lowe and Richard Sabin in conversation with Pandora Syperek and Sarah Wade. Science Museum Group Journal (13).

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Abstract

The current ecological crisis and the call to decolonise museums can be catalysts for change, manifested both physically through exhibitions or redisplays of historical collections and conceptually through new curatorial approaches or interventions. This interview examines the strategies and considerations involved in a major redisplay at the Natural History Museum, London, in 2017. Here, ‘Dippy’ the Diplodocus was removed from the prime central hall location, causing a furore that soon gave way to celebration of its newly installed resident ‘Hope’ the blue whale, heralding a new paradigm of scientific display where an anthropogenic extinction narrative took centre stage in a world-renowned museum. Alongside the blue whale, a series of ‘Wonder Bays’ were installed which tell stories of evolution, biodiversity and sustainability. Curators Miranda Lowe and Richard Sabin discuss these recent displays in relation to extinction narratives, public ecological awareness, ideals of authenticity and the crossover of art and science. They reflect on how the politics of natural history display extend to broader global issues, including the illegal wildlife trade and decolonising the museum, focusing on presentations of marine life and ocean ecology to reflect their principal areas of expertise and the Natural History Museum’s recent ocean-themed programming.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2021 00:56
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 23:47
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/78221
DOI: 10.15180/201314

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