The Place of St Ives by Brandon Taylor, Professor Emeritus of History of Art, University of Southampton

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt - Dorset County Museum © 2015

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt – Dorset County Museum © 2015

On Thursday 10th December at 7.30pm, Dorset County Museum invites you to come to an interesting and informative talk about British modern art which complements the current temporary exhibition at Dorset County Museum, St Ives and British Modernism: The George and Ann Dannatt Collection.

The talk will consider the character of ‘The St Ives School’ of painters and sculptors during the 1940s and 1950s, the nature of their links to the coastal environment, and the relation of their work to transatlantic and European tendencies of the day.

Professor Taylor is currently a visiting Tutor in History and Theory of Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. His latest publications are After Constructivism (Yale University Press 2014) and St Ives and British Modernism (Pallant House Gallery Chichester 2015).

This talk is on Thursday 10th December 2015, Dorset County Museum, 7.30pm
(doors open at 7.00pm) and is open to everyone and is FREE of charge, although we do encourage a donation of £3 to cover costs.

For further information and other forthcoming events contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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

Archaeology student demonstrates 3D printing at Dorset County Museum

A Samien ware pot emerges from a 3-D printer . Picture Credit  Peter Brugger

A Samien ware pot emerges from a 3D printer . Picture Credit Peter Brugger

You may have heard about 3D printing but here’s a chance to actually see it taking place. 

On Tuesday 18th February Peter Brugger, a PhD archaeology student from Southampton University, will be demonstrating the process of 3D printing at Dorset County Museum. Peter will show how a three dimensional plastic model is build up – layer by layer – by a hightech 3D printer. He hopes his research into scanning and recreating archaeological objects using 3D printing will benefit the appreciation of archaeology in museums.

To see the technology at work, why not come in at around 10.00 am when the process is in its early stages, then pop back later in the day to see the finished article? Peter will be at the Museum most of the day and will be happy to talk about his work and explain the procedure to visitors – his final talk will be at 2.30 pm.

Entry to see the printing taking place in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery will be FREE but donations are encouraged.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on

Geology Lecture: What is a Bird? by Dr. Gareth Dyke


Reconstruction of Microraptor Picture Credit: Mick Ellison/AMNH.

On Wednesday 12th February 2014, a talk at Dorset County Museum by Dr. Gareth Dyke of University of Southampton aims to answer an ongoing question amongst geologists: What is a Bird?

The evolution of wings in dinosaurs, and the eventual emergence of birds, was undoubtedly a momentous step in the progression of vertebrate life on our planet.  Using fossil evidence, Dr. Dyke will unfold the history of birds and their dinosaur predecessors through a study of their anatomical diversity as well as lifestyles and habitats.  He will discuss recent fossil discoveries which show key stages in the refinement of parachuting, gliding and – maybe – flapping flight.

Dr. Dyke will also explain how birds managed to survive the massive extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous period which killed every remaining non-avian dinosaur.

All are welcome to this talk – entry is free and a donation of £3.00 is encouraged to cover costs. Doors open at 6.30pm, the talk will commence at 7.00pm.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on

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