Animal Encounters

About This Project

Animal encounters across six centuries of art – an exhibition featuring animals from our collection and with a corresponding schools programme.

Throughout history, artists have created drawings and paintings of animals reflecting their personal relationships, because animals have always been important to human life. Stone Age people decorated their caves with images of the animals they hunted for food. The ancient Egyptians depicted many of their gods with heads of animals.

In recent centuries the images have been more complex, illustrating the extraordinary nature of exotic creatures, the struggles between man and beast, the ‘wildness’ of nature or the individual beauty of an animal.

We tend to categorise animals as ‘wild’, ‘farm’ or ‘domestic’. Why do we do this and can the categories be broken down? This exhibition invites visitors to examine how humans interact with and respond to the animal kingdom.

Animal Encounters brings together paintings, drawings, prints and objects from across the museum collection depicting animals in a wide range of settings. The selection may change from time to time, especially to include work by living local artists contributing to the theme.

The exhibition will run until 1st September 2019 in Gallery Four.

The exhibition is also a catalyst for our learning programme at the Williamson with schools, pre-schoolers and families. The art-work and artefacts selected provide comment on animal encounters on domestic, natural and manipulated settings.  More information on this learning programme can be found on our Schools pages.



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