An introduction to Travellers’ Tails

Travellers’ Tails was a collaboration between Royal Museums Greenwich and four partner museums to investigate the history of exploration, art and science inspired by the National Maritime Museum’s acquisition of two paintings: The Kongouro from New Holland (Kangaroo) and Portrait of a Large Dog (Dingo). These paintings by George Stubbs (1724–1806) are a product of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific and are the earliest depictions of these animals in Western art.

The project brought together artists, scientists, explorers and museum professionals who investigated with audiences: the nature of exploration in the Enlightenment era, explore how this history could be examined and experienced in gallery, heritage and museum settings, and question what exploration means today.

The project ran from 2014 to 2018 and commenced with ‘The Art and Science of Exploration’ exhibition in the Queen’s House in August 2014 and continued with a tour of the exhibition, a choreographer-in-residence, a Pop-up Museum, and culminated with a Long Table discussion in the Queen’s House in September 2018.

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