Undersea Fun with the Dorset County Museum’s Craft Academy

craft-academy-dorset-county-museumLooking for something to do with the kids this this half term?  Come and join us for a morning of messy fun at Dorset County Museum’s Craft Academy on Wednesday 15 February 10.30am – 12.30pm

Taking inspiration from our current spotlight exhibition ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ based on the book by Wolfgang Grulke in the Victorian Hall children will have a chance to learn and create creatures that live in the sea and their environment.

We’ll provide the materials and the inspiration – you’ll create a wonderful piece to take home with you. Even better, it’s absolutely FREE thanks to sponsorship from Battens Solicitors.

Each time you create a masterpiece at one of our sessions, we will stamp your Craft Academy passport. If you collect three stamps we’ll give you a special certificate.

The next Craft Academy sessions for 2017:

  • Wednesday 12 April

  • Wednesday 19 April

  • Wednesday 31 May

  • Wednesday 2nd August

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Nautilus Exhibition at the Dorset County Museum extended to 30 May 2017

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionary

Book: Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary by Wolfgang Grulke

Dorset County Museum’s spotlight exhibition ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ based on the book by Wolfgang Grulke has been extended until the end of May this year to enable even more people to come and enjoy it.

This exhibition showing many of the cultural objects, fossils, shells and artefacts featured in the book, celebrates the long history of Nautilus, its role in human culture and the realities of its life today.

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

Wolfgang Grulke

Wolfgang said “The Chambered Nautilus is one of the oldest living things on our planet. Since the dawn of civilisation its form has inspired artists, designers and architects. Nautilus has survived whatever the world has thrown at it for more than 500 million years, persisting even as dinosaurs and many other life forms vanished. Now, however, some believe it could become extinct within a generation.  We are donating 100% of the proceeds of this book to Nautilus research and we hope that one of the projects will help find this rarest of animals and film it for the first time.”

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Mammoth Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

The Dorset County Museum’s popular annual sale of second-hand books will be taking place on 11, 12 and 14 November 2015 between 10am to 4pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects and genres will be represented including Dorset, travel, history, music, art and gardening.  A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.

All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 11 November.

The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is FREE – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 13 November.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

New exhibition explores one of nature’s beautiful survivors the Nautilus

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionaryFrom 1st to 31st October 2016, Dorset County Museum will be hosting an exhibition ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ based on the forthcoming booking book by Wolfgang Grulke.

Wolfgang Grulke is an author and business man with an unbridled passion for the natural world.  He is regarded as one of the world’s top futurists, speakers and writers of the on this subject. Recently he has also applied his sense of wonder to the distant past, especially our fossil history.

He has created a renowned collection which is featured in his two natural history books Heteromorph: Nature as it’s most bizarre which was published last year and Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ which will be launched on ‘World Nautilus Day’ on the 9th October 2016.

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

This exhibition showing many of the cultural objects, fossils, shells and artefacts featured in the book, celebrates the long history of Nautilus, its role in human culture and the realities of its life today.

Wolfgang said “The Chambered Nautilus is one of the oldest living things on our planet. Since the dawn of civilisation its form has inspired artists, designers and architects. Nautilus has survived whatever the world has thrown at it for more than 500 million years, persisting even as dinosaurs and many other life forms vanished. Now, however, some believe it could become extinct within a generation.”

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionary

Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary

He continues to say “Despite it having become one of the most-studied invertebrates of all time, there is still an air of mystery that surrounds the living Nautilus. The most-recently evolved specimens have been grouped into the genus Allonautilus. One of these Allonautilus scrobiculatus, the furry or fuzzy Nautilus, has only been seen alive twice in the last 30 years. A second species, Allonautilus perforatus, has never been seen alive. We are donating 100% of the proceeds of this book to Nautilus research and we hope that one of the projects will help find this rarest of animals and film it for the first time.”

This spotlight exhibition and book will feature in a talk by Wolfgang Grulke held at the Dorset County Museum on Wednesday 12 October 2016 from 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) Thursday 15. The talk is FREE although a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.  The book ‘Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor – 500 million years of evolutionary history’ by Wolfgang Grulke will also be available to purchase and for signing on the night.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Evening Talk & Book Launch: ‘A Freezing Horror’, the Wreck of the Halsewell East Indiaman

The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the HalsewellOne freezing night in January 1786 a shocking and dramatic shipwreck on the Dorset coast stunned the nation. Local author Philip Browne’s talk at Dorset County Museum sheds fresh light on the career of Captain Richard Peirce of the East India Company and the wreck of his ship, the Halsewell.

On Wednesday 2nd December at 7.30pm at the Dorset County Museum, Philip Browne will draw on original research to explore the factors that led to the shipwreck and will examine the impact of the disaster on Captain Peirce’s own family and the response of society to this horrific event. Come along and find out the answers to the questions who was Captain Peirce, and was he to blame for the loss of his ship and the deaths of his own daughters?

Signed copies of Philip Browne’s book ‘The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the Halsewell’ will be on sale after the talk.

The talk is on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 : 7.00pm for 7.30pm and is FREE, although a small donation of £3 is requested to cover costs. For further information and other forthcoming events contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Mammoth Book Sale at Dorset County Museum

Book Sale at Dorset County MuseumThe Dorset County Museum’s popular annual sale of second-hand books will be taking place on Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Monday 23 November 2015 between 10am to 4pm.

Thousands of quality books will be sold at bargain prices – fact, fiction, hardback and softback. Hundreds of subjects and genres will be represented including Dorset, travel, history, music, art and gardening . A wide selection of fiction will also be available including hard and soft backs. A few minutes’ careful searching could reveal untold treasures!

Dorset County Museum Book Sale 2012In addition, there will be a sale of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society publications at knock-down prices – available only to buyers who visit the sale in person.
All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Museum and its extensive collections.

Donations of good quality second hand books will be gratefully received up to and including Friday 13 November.

The Museum’s well-stocked gift shop is also worth a visit with Christmas lines now available, and the popular tea room awaits weary bargain hunters.

Everyone is welcome and entry to the sale is FREE – it would help the Museum if visitors could bring their own bags as supplies of plastic bags will be limited. Please note the Museum will NOT be open on Sunday 22 November.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

The Rarest Fossil Ammonites: Nature at its most bizarre a talk by Wolfgang Grulke

Heteromorph by Wolfgang GrulkeOn Wednesday 14th October at 7pm, Dorset County Museum is thrilled to be hosting a talk by Wolfgang Grulke on some of the most beautiful and most bizarre ammonite fossils ever found. Accompanied by stunning photography, this promises to be a truly fascinating talk.

During their reign of 300 million years ammonites experimented with the most bizarre and startling shell shapes. They dominated the sea when dinosaurs dominated the land. Some were large predators not unlike today’s giant squid; others small and delicate. Now, new technology is revealing the full beauty of these ‘heteromorph’ ammonites and they have become very desirable and passionately collected natural objects. Some have become works of art in the form of natural sculpture, or have inspired artists to create their own work, and as such this talk will appeal to those interested in geology and art alike.

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

Wolfgang Grulke and his collection of Ammonites

Wolfgang Grulke’s beautiful book full of amazing photography, ‘Heteromorph’, will be available to buy on the night.

Wolfgang’s talk is on Wednesday 14th October 2015, 7.00pm (doors open at 6.30pm). This free talk is open to all. To cover costs, a small donation of £3.00 is encouraged. The talk will take place in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Book Launch and Signing, The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons With traditional Dorset Folk Musician Tim Laycock

Natasha Solomon author of The Song Collector

Natasha Solomon author of The Song Collector

On Wednesday 1st July Dorset County Museum will host an evening of singing to launch local author Natasha Solomon’s new book, The Song Collector.

The popular author of Mr Rosenblum’s List and The House of Tyneford will be signing copies of her new book, which will be available to purchase on the

The Song Collector by Natasha Solomon

The Song Collector by Natasha Solomon

evening. She will be accompanied by the traditional Dorset folk musician Tim Laycock for an evening of song and ballads.

Tickets cost £5 each and are available from the Museum’s shop, or by phoning 01305 756827. The price of the ticket can be redeemed against a copy of The Song Collector on the evening.

All proceeds from this event will go towards the Dorset County Museum’s Collections Discovery Centre Development

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Seeing Butterflies: New Perspectives on Colour, Patterns and Mimicry by Philip Howse.

Seeing Butterflies: New Perspectives on Colour, Patterns and Mimicry by Philip HowseFor a fascinating insight into the bizarre colour patterns of butterflies and moths, visit Dorset County Museum for a talk by butterfly mimicry expert, Philip Howse. Philip will be launching his new book, Seeing Butterflies: New Perspectives on Colour, Patterns and Mimicry, at an event at the Museum on 26th November.

Originally focussing on the death’s head hawk moth, Philip quickly realised that the skull marking, seen from the appropriate angle, was in fact a crude image of the head of a giant hornet.

“From that point on, I found more and more examples of images of parts of dangerous animals: teeth, eyes, claws, beaks etc. embedded in the wing patterns,” said Philip.

Butterfly wings demonstrating mimicry

Butterfly wings demonstrating mimicry

During his talk on 26th November, Professor Howse will explain the reasons for the enchanting colours and designs on the wings of butterflies and moths and discuss survival strategies using behaviour, mimicry and camouflage.

Philip Howse has published several books and numerous research articles on insect behavior and ecology. After a career spent mainly at Southampton University, he has now retired but continues writing about the insects that have fascinated him since he was a boy.

All are welcome to this event which is FREE although donations are welcome to cover costs. Copies of Philip’s book will be for sale during the evening. The talk will start at 7.30pm and doors are open from 7.00pm. For further information see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.

Talk and Book Signing: West Dorset Country Houses by Michael Hill

West Dorset Country HousesMichael Hill’s new book, West Dorset Country Houses, is a superbly researched and illustrated account of country houses in eastern Dorset. Ranging from medieval palace buildings at Corfe Castle to Art Deco houses in Poole, over 30 homes are described in great detail including the use of many architectural drawings and plans.

During his talk at Dorset County Museum on 27th November, Michael Hill will discuss the book and explain how the social context of the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras became interwoven with architectural practices. The talk will be illustrated throughout with recent and contemporary drawings and photographs.

All are welcome to this talk which starts at 7.30pm. Entry is from 7.00pm and the event is free although a donation of £3.00 is encouraged to cover costs. Copies of Michael Hill’s book will also be on sale during the evening.

For more information phone the Museum on 01305 756827 or visit our website at www.dorsetcountymuseum.org