We are definitely more than just a Dodo, but sometimes we do like to celebrate our famous specimen. This month we’ll be doing that in two exciting ways: putting the real Dodo remains on display, and taking Dodo bits and pieces on an epic tour – the Dodo Roadshow.
The Oxford Dodo display in the centre court of the Museum tells the story of the famous specimen that’s been under the care of Oxford University since the 17th century. But it doesn’t contain the real head and foot remains of the original animal: this uniquely precious specimen has to be kept behind the scenes, so it’s rare to get even a glimpse… until now!
On show until 19 July, you have a one-off opportunity to see the real deal on display in the climate-controlled Presenting case near the Welcome Desk. You can find out more about the display on the Museum website too.
As you’ll probably know by now, we’ve been shortlisted for the Art Fund Prize Museum of the Year 2015. To mark this, we’re embarking on a unique and ambitious tour of the country. Beginning at Land’s End on 8 June, the Dodo Roadshow will travel the full length of Britain in the colourful Museum van. Staff will journey all the way to John O’Groats in just one week, visiting over 20 museums and galleries along the way.
Oh, and we’ll be taking a Dodo with us too. While the original head is on display in the Museum, we’ll get the striking Dodo model out on the road, and we’ll also take along real Dodo foot and limb bones, from the same original animal as the head. These will be used as part of a ‘show and tell’ with visitors at each stop.
But it’s not just about the Dodo. In a bid to celebrate the rich diversity of museum collections in the UK, the Dodo will meet with star objects from every museum and gallery on the tour too. And in a small expression of cultural heritage exchange, the Dodo will ‘interview’ these star objects for a series of Q&A articles, which you’ll be able to read about right here on the blog.
We wanted to do something special to celebrate our nomination for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015. Getting out on the road to visit museums and galleries far and wide seemed like a great way to talk about the huge breadth of collections that we have in the UK, both in natural history and well beyond.
The Dodo Roadshow is a chance for some people to meet the iconic Oxford Dodo, and for the Dodo – and us – to meet equally important objects in other museum collections.
– Professor Paul Smith, Museum director
Here’s the full breakdown of where we’re going:
Monday 8 June – LAND’S END Visitor Centre; National Maritime Museum Cornwall; Royal Cornwall Museum; Eden Project; Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
Tuesday 9 June – RAMM; Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Wednesday 10 June – National Museum Wales; Black Country Living Museum; Compton Verney
Thursday 11 June – Derby Museum and Art Gallery
Friday 12 June – Yorkshire Sculpture Park; The Whitworth; Dove Cottage
Saturday 13 June – Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery; Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Sunday 14 June – The Hunterian, Glasgow; Perth Museum & Art Gallery; RSPB Loch Garten
Monday 15 June – Ullapool Museum & Visitor Centre; Information Centre, JOHN O’GROATS
Look out for travel snaps, postcards and drawings from the Dodo here on the blog and @morethanadodo on Twitter – #dodoroadshow.
Right, I’m off to pack – squawk!
Rachel Parle, Interpretation and Education Officer