The Museum’s collections consist primarily of natural history specimens and does not actively collect art work. Through historical acquisitions and our long established history celebrating the relationship between the sciences and the arts, however, we have accumulated a small but impressive collection of art work. This consists primarily of paintings and sculpture.
The Museum’s art collection includes a small number of paintings, primarily gouache and oil. The oil paintings holdings of the Museum were catalogued and imaged by the Public Catalogue Foundation in 2014. A full list of our holdings can be found on the Art UK website.
The Museum also owns an impressive collection of Victorian carved sculpture, primarily represented by stone statues of eminent scientists, philosophers and engineers positioned around the main court. Artists include Henry Hope Pinker, Alexander Munro, Thomas Woolner and John Tupper.
The Museum also holds a small collection of other sculpture including marquets, and stone, bronze and plaster busts. This collection, along with the statues in the court have been catalogued by the Public Cataloguing foundation and will shortly be available to search on the Art UK website.
Other collections containing artworks can be found in the Museum’s archive collection, the most prominent of these include the William Burchell and John Obadiah Westwood collections.