Royal Museums Greenwich brings Travellers' Tails Pop-up Museum to Lewisham Shopping Centre

Royal Museums Greenwich has teamed up with Lewisham Shopping Centre to open Travellers' Tails, a new interactive pop-up museum, offering visitors a hands-on opportunity to explore the collection of their local museum.

Now open to the public, the free pop-up museum focuses on the history of exploration, art and science during Captain Cook’s voyages to the Pacific. The space has been designed to showcase objects and stories from the museum’s diverse collection,  sharing with the local community what is on offer at the museum, which is located a short bus ride away from Lewisham Shopping Centre.

Visitors will be able to handle a number of objects from the Pacific exploration collection, including a real kangaroo skin, as well as make their own kangaroo puppets. The audio-visual Digital Explorer gives users an interactive tour of Pacific objects within the collection, whilst arts and crafts workshops invite visitors to create their own exotic creatures for display on the pop-up museum’s drawing wall.  

In addition to these activities, artists in residence Victoria Briggs, Simon Watt and Dan Rollings are running a programme of activity sessions, including ‘Second-hand Species’, where participants can draw their own versions of Pacific creatures based entirely on description. The session places participants in the position of contemporary artists, who made artistic representation of creatures, such as kangaroos, after hearing about them for the very first time from eye-witnesses on Cook’s voyage.

The Pop-up Museum is part of Travellers' Tails, an HLF funded project where Royal Museums Greenwich collaborated with four partner museums in the UK to exhibit George Stubbs's painting of a kangaroo, following the acquisition of both the kangaroo and also the dingo by the museum in 2013.

The famous artworks, informed by artefacts from Captain Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific, are the earliest images of these animals in western art. A replica of Stubbs’ Portrait of a Large Dog, depicting a Dingo is currently on display in the pop-up museum in Lewisham and was commissioned as part of a conservation project to better understand the wax painting technique used on the original painting in 1772.

 “It’s so exciting to be able to offer new opportunities for the public to interact with these two paintings”, says Lucy Yates, Programme Manager: Travellers' Tails at Royal Museums Greenwich. “The generosity of Lewisham Shopping Centre and Land Securities has meant we’re able to bring this exciting HLF-funded project directly to our local community in a new space. We’ve had a fantastic initial response from the public already and we’re looking forward to engaging new people in the history and context of these paintings.”

Sony Mistou, Marketing Manager at Lewisham Shopping Centre says, “We are delighted to welcome Royal Museums Greenwich to the centre. Our local community is so important to us, and it’s fantastic that the pop up will offer our customers something different. From exploring objects from the Pacific exploration collection, to lots of fun free activities and discovering more about the Royal Museums Greenwich collections with the Digital Explorer, there’s sure to be something for everyone.”

The Travellers’ Tails Pop-up Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday, 11am – 4pm. Royal Museums Greenwich is accessible via the 180 bus from Lewisham Shopping Centre and via the DLR or South Eastern trains to Greenwich.


Notes to Editors

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Queen’s House and Cutty Sark operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich.

The National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Cutty Sark are open daily 10.00‑17.00 (last admission 16.30). Cutty Sark’s opening times may be subject to change, please see website for details

On Friday 12th August, Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) received a confirmed grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards an £12.6M project. The ‘Endeavour Galleries’ project will be completed in 2018, creating four permanent galleries in the National Maritime Museum’s (NMM) East Wing.

The new galleries will relate to exploration in its widest sense.. Each of the four new galleries will bring the themes alive for people of all ages: Pacific Encounters; Polar Worlds; Tudor and Stuart Seafarers; and Sea Things, a gallery showcasing the richness of the Museum’s collections.

General admission to National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House are free. All events included here are free of charge to all visitors unless stated.  Admission prices for the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark, as well as Museum special exhibitions can be found online at

The Museum is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

For updated information prior to visit please visit our web site:  or phone 020 8858 4422.


For Further information, please contact:

Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office

Tel:     020 8312 6789/6545/6790 | 07960 509802