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From the War of Nature – events for families and adults

April 16, 2014

From the War of Nature is our new temporary exhibition at Manchester Museum. You can catch a film preview or why not join us for one of the events for families and adults over the next few weeks.

Big Saturday: Plants, Poisons, Platypuses – Sat 26 April 11am-4pm

Come along and bring all the family to a day of discovery. Find out more about the adaptations and characteristics plants and animals use to survive and how humans have learned from nature. Meet scientists and get hands on and do some experiments of your own. See fascinating objects from the museum’s stores, and find out more about the interactions between animals and plants when they want different things from one another: predators and prey, hosts and parasites, competitors, males and females, parents and young. Get crafty and create your own paper creatures to take away.

Urban Naturalist: Urban Wildlife – Sat 26 April 2-4pm

Join the RSPB to find out more about your local wildlife and how to encourage and give nature a home. We are living in an increasingly urbanised world, which has huge implications for our wildlife, some is thriving, such as our charismatic Peregrine Falcon, whilst other well loved species are slowly disappearing from our lives, without us even noticing, do you still get that hedgehog visiting your garden? Come along to our workshop and find out what is happening to our urban wildlife, and take part in exploring ideas and tips to give nature a home in your urban space, no matter how big or small. Please come armed with any questions or suggestions about how you want to develop, or have developed your outdoor space for wildlife. Urban Naturalist is a series of friendly, practical workshops run by leading naturalists Book on 0161 275 2648, £3.

Collection Bites: From the War of Nature – Wed 7 May 1-2pm

Join Henry McGhie, Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology, as he explores some of the extraordinary ways in which animals have negotiated the conflict that exists between them, using specimens from the Museum collection as a basis for discussion. He will also explore ‘speciesism’, treating different species in different ways, and how we think of ourselves as part of the natural world. Book on 0161 275 2648 or, adult, free

Lunchtime exhibition talks: From the War of Nature Fri 16, 23, 30 May & 6 June 1-2pm

Join us for a series of talks, lead by Scientists from Manchester University, that explore the recent scientific discoveries and relationships between living things, exploring the place of war in nature and the idea of a ‘struggle for existence’. Fri 16, 23, 30 May & 6 June 1-2pm, Kanaris Theatre

Afterhours: Survival – Thurs 22 May 6.30-9pm

Encounter the unexpected… Enjoy a highlights tour of the exhibition, see and handle some amazing objects from the museum’s stores and join us for an evening that explores relationships in nature. See artwork and installations from students from Stockport College’s Arts, Design and Media department which have been inspired by the museum and exhibition. Over the past four years, the Arts, Design and Media department at Stockport College has forged a reciprocal relationship with Manchester Museum, taking creative inspiration from its rich resources and producing visual material for display in the museum and beyond. Drop-in, adult, free

From the War of Nature – Boxing Hares

April 11, 2014

From the War of Nature, our new temporary exhibition opens today Friday 11 April and is on display until 7 September.

Boxing hares, burrowing parasites, baby birds and prowling wolves are just some of the characters appearing in this story of predation, competition, co-operation and collaboration. The exhibition reveals that living things resolve conflict in many, often unexpected, ways and aims to challenge the perception that war is an inevitable outcome of conflict. From the War of Nature coincides with the nationwide commemoration of the start of World War I. The title comes from Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, published in 1859. Drawing upon more recent scientific discoveries about the relationships between living things, the exhibition explores the place of war in nature, and the idea of a ‘struggle for existence’.

Photo by Claire Mills

This picture of boxing hares is from the exhibition but if you’d like to contribute to a hare project, Greater Manchester Ecological Unit is looking for volunteers to carry out a brown hare survey. The survey is self guided and can be completed by anyone. It’s simple to carry out and very rewarding. You simply walk a route recording any hares seen and some other useful information at the same time.

· Just go to

· Click on the nearest blue/white hare to where you’d like to survey and download the survey map and survey pack.

· Follow the survey guidelines in the pack to complete the survey.

· Once the surveys have been done, fill in the spreadsheet and email it back to samuel.bolton

· Please complete by the end of April but forms will be accepted up until the end of May.

· That’s it J

Further details about how to spot brown hare can also be found at and you can post any brown hare pictures at

Archaeology and Science; Koma Figurines and CT Scanning

April 7, 2014

Join Dr Sharon Fraser, as she tells us about the exciting and intriguing discoveries made by CT scanning and the insight this can give us into life in the past. Sharon will talk about this in relation to the Koma figurines in the Fragmentary Ancestors: Figurines from Koma Land, Ghana, exhibition, 25 October 2013 – 4 May 2014. Sharon originally studied geology at the University of Manchester and then went on to study for a PhD looking at the composition of archaeological beads and glass and how this can help to show where artefacts came from. She continues to work at the university as an Honorary Research Fellow using scientific techniques to help study archaeological artefacts. She will also explain a bit about other projects she has been involved with such as looking at medicine clays and pottery from Ghana and the CT scanning of Worsley man.

Sharon will be in the museum from 12.30 to 1.30pm on Wed 9 and Wed 16 April.

From 1.30pm to 3.30pm there will be an opportunity to create your own clay figurine with artist Pascal Nicholls. Check out this link to see an installation by Pascal from our Coral After hours.

Images by Alan Seabright

Reflections on RinR event: Exploring African Medicinal and Religious Objects in Manchester Museum

April 4, 2014

Originally posted on The Healer's Tools:

 RinR Event MHF Image

On Saturday March 22nd one of the central events of my Researcher in Residence role at Manchester Museum was held. Details of the event, part of Manchester Histories Festival (21-30 March 2014), can be found here:

For the link-shy here’s the Manchester Histories Festival event summary:

An object-orientated lecture examining collections of African medicinal and religious artefacts held in Manchester Museum. Speakers will highlight some important objects from the museum’s collection and  critically examine the role of local collectors donating African medico-religious artefacts to museum collections over the years. 

The lecture will be open to the public and will appeal to anyone with an interest in West Africa, indigenous healing and religion, and the process of collecting.

A fuller programme had originally been planned, and contributions were solicited from postgraduate researchers from across the SALC, however, falling in the same month as my Viva, these ambitious plans had…

View original 475 more words

April English Corner sessions at Manchester Museum and Manchester Art Gallery

March 31, 2014

We have three English Corner sessions in April.

The April dates are:

Tuesday 1 April 1-2.30 at Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, M13 9PL
Wednesday 9 April 1-2.30 at Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL
Thursday 17 April 6.30-8 p.m at Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL

We run English every month on the first Tuesday, second Wednesday and third Thursday.

Join us to practise your English speaking and listening skills. It’s a free English conversation class for anyone wanting to improve their English.

No need to book, just turn up! Please meet at the gallery/museum information point. People are welcome to attend as many sessions as they would like.

Here’s some feedback from the last English Corner…

‘Useful experience! I learnt a lot of vocabulary. I think it’s a really good way to know more about art and English. I recommend everyone to come!’

Please note, We welcome groups but you must book. If you’d like to come to English Corner as a group, please contact me to book a slot. We allow one group of up to 10 learners to attend each session. Individual learners are very welcome to all sessions.

Collection Bites -Footprints in the Sand and Carbon Copy Ears

March 26, 2014

Wednesday 2 April 1-2pm

Footprints in the Sand and Carbon Copy Ears

Join Bryony Bond, Exhibitions Curator at the Whitworth Art Gallery and see up close some of the extraordinary objects make up Mark Dion’s Bureau for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy, an artwork that Bryony worked on in 2005 and whose contents have haunted her ever since. Her talk will follow a train of thought from these objects to other connected curiosities in the Manchester Museum, ideas in contemporary art and moments in literature.

Collection Bites is our monthly talk featuring Manchester Museum objects.

Romans in Ancient Worlds Tour Wed 26 March 2pm

March 25, 2014

Our next Manchester Histories Festival event is on Wednesday 26 March at 2pm and is a tour about all things Roman.

The Roman Manchester tour explores some of the fascinating discoveries from excavations in Roman Manchester including pottery, jewellery, inscriptions and the internationally famous Manchester word-square, which may the earliest evidence of Christianity in northern Britain. Christians were persecuted by the Roman authorities at different times and had to hide their religious beliefs. You will find out how the letters of the word-square inscription can be rearranged to create part of the Lord’s prayer in Latin. You will also find out how the bones of mice found in a large Roman pot can tell us about what the environment was like in Manchester two thousand years ago and what the soldiers got up to when they went off duty. Some of the exhibits lent by Manchester Art Gallery and Salford Museum and Art Gallery are displayed here for the first time in many years.

The tour is free but if you’d like to book a place please ring 0161 275 2648 or e-mail museum


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