The Travellers' Tails partnership project delves into the history of exploration, art and science, inspired by Royal Museums Greenwich’s acquisition of George Stubbs's paintings of a kangaroo and dingo.

Travellers' Tails is a collaboration between Royal Museums Greenwich and four partner museums: the Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London; The Hunterian in Glasgow; the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby; and the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London.

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Find out about our partner museums

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The project aims to draw together artists, scientists, explorers and museum professionals, to play with the idea of exploration during the Enlightenment (1650s–1780s). But what does exploration mean today? And how can different histories be explored and experienced in a gallery, museum or heritage setting?

Be part of the project yourself – share your research, come to our events, follow the blog, have your say or join us on social media.

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A programme of events, talks and activities at Royal Museums Greenwich and project partners is taking place around the country. 

See all Travellers' Tails activities

George Stubbs's kangaroo and dingo

Stubbs’s paintings of a kangaroo and dingo brought to astounded public attention in the late 18th century the extraordinary new world of Australia. The two unknown, fabulous animals were to become most closely identified with it.

The paintings were commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks, the gentleman-scientist, immediately after taking part in Captain James Cook’s renowned ‘first voyage of discovery’ to the Pacific (1768–71).

Banks is one of the most significant figures in the development of natural history in Britain. The voyage is traditionally identified as the moment of European discovery of Australia (though its western coast was previously known). This changed the course of maritime science and the perceptions of Britain’s place in the world.

More about the paintings on the Travellers' Tails website