The Art & Science of Exploration, 1768-80


Open until July 2015, featuring the Stubbs Kangaroo until March 2015*


The Queen's House
10.00-17.00 daily*
  • Adults
  • General
Event type:

image title The Kongouro from New Holland (Kangaroo), George Stubbs (1772). ZBA5754 (L6685-001). National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London*

Art and Science

An exhibition of exceptional paintings, prints and drawings by specially commissioned artists on Captain Cook’s 18th-century voyages of discovery. These works influenced forever how the European public saw the Pacific.

Temporary closures, Jan 2015: parts of the exhibition will be closed on 14-15, 26 January 2015.

See our Twitter tour of the exhibition

George Stubbs paintings

Imagine seeing an animal as remarkable as a kangaroo for the first time. The exhibition includes newly-acquired paintings by George Stubbs – the first depictions of a kangaroo and a dingo in Western art. Also on display are portraits, landscapes and scenes of encounters with Pacific islanders painted by William Hodges and John Webber, as well as botanical prints based on drawings by Sydney Parkinson.

Captain Cook's voyages of exploration

Cook brought back accounts and images of extraordinary lands, peoples, flora and fauna. Artists played a crucial role on his three voyages of discovery, producing both scientific records and imaginative responses to the unfamiliar lands that he encountered.

Explore objects from Cook's voyages of exploration in our collections

Cook's First Voyage - Cook’s company on the Endeavour search for the unknown continent
Cook's Second Voyage - Cook is joined by two astronomers appointed by the Board of Longitude
Cook's Third Voyage - Cook comes out of retirement for his third and final voyage to the Pacific
Death of Captain Cook - the mast of Cook’s ship, the Resolution, is damaged in a storm forcing him to make a fateful return to Hawaii

Travellers’ Tails project

In connection with the exhibition we are working with four partner museums around the UK, including talks, events and activities, and a tour of Stubbs’s Kangaroo. Find out more and take part here:

Longitude season

The Art & Science of Exploration, 1768-80 is part of Royal Museums Greenwich's Longitude Season, celebrating the tercentenary of the Longitude Act with exhibitions, special events and planetarium shows.

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With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Eyal Ofer Family Foundation, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Art Fund.

*Acquired with the assistance of Heritage Lottery Fund; Eyal Ofer Family Foundation; The Monument Trust; The Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation); The Crosthwaite Bequest; The Sackler Trust; Sir Harry Djanogly CBE; The Hartnett Conservation Trust; Sheila Richardson and Anthony Nixon; The Leathersellers' Company; Gapper Charitable Trust; Genevieve Muinzer and others.


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What's on show

  • Dingo by George Stubbs
    Portrait of a Large Dog (Dingo), George Stubbs (1772)*
    NMM, Greenwich, London
  • Poedua, the Daughter of Orio, John Webber (c.1784)
    NMM, Greenwich, London, Ministry of Defence Art Collection
  • [Cascade Cove] Dusky Bay, by William Hodges
    [Cascade Cove] Dusky Bay, William Hodges, 1775
    NMM, Greenwich, London, Ministry of Defence Art Collection
  • A Party from His Majesty’s ships Resolution & Discovery Shooting sea-horses, by  John Webber
    A Party from His Majesty’s ships Resolution & Discovery Shooting sea-horses, Latitude 71 North, 1778, John Webber
    NMM, Greenwich, London, Ministry of Defence Art Collection
  • The Death of Captain James Cook, 14 February 1779, by Johann Zoffany
    The Death of Captain James Cook, 14 February 1779, Johann Zoffany, 1798
    NMM, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection

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