Cambridge University has a diverse set of museums covering everything from archaeology to zoology, and even a polar museum. This exhibition brings some of their finest exhibits under one roof, including an egg from Darwin’s famous journey on the Beagle, and a detector designed to pick up neutrinos when buried a kilometre under the Antarctic ice.
It’s an excellent selection, with further oddities such as a range of Asia-Pacific paddles, and weapons left hanging on a museum storage rack, which will be familiar to anyone who’s been to the archives of a large collection. But the most niche exhibit must be a range of snow goggles from 1875 to present day.
Other highlights include an Arabic bronze sculpture of a lion that definitely feels like it’s been inspired by Chinese art and a complete dodo skeleton. Our favourite item is a wooden snakes and ladders board inlaid with mother of pearl – it looks spectacular.
This is a varied show that will appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of art, science or exploration. It’s a rare opportunity to see these artefacts outside of Cambridge and both an exhibition and a venue that we recommend seeing. The building’s pretty stunning, too.
Discoveries: Art, Science and Exploration from the University of Cambridge Museums is on at Two Temple Place, WC2R 3BD until 27 April. Admission is free.