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Press release

Exhibitions and events in 2006

In 2006, the Natural History Museum will be putting on an exciting, action-packed programme of events and exhibitions.

New exhibitions next year cover themes as varied as dinosaurs, wildlife photography and climate change. Visitors can still go ice-skating for most of January and our Friday night Time Out After Hours event is on until Friday 24 February.

Our blockbuster exhibition for 2006 is Dino Jaws - a family exhibition on the fascinating (and sometimes downright disgusting) subject of what dinosaurs ate and how we know. Featuring the most spectacularly lifelike animatronic dinosaurs the Museum has ever displayed, this will be a real treat for the whole family.

As part of our commitment to attracting new audiences, we're taking part in China in London 2006, a city-wide season of cultural events to celebrate the arts, culture and historic links between London and China, organised by the Mayor of London, Visit London, the London Chinatown Chinese Association and a number of leading cultural institutions. We are also building on the success of the first Diverse City Season in 2005 with another season for 2006, incorporating Black History Month in October.

Our sister museum, the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, in Tring Hertfordshire, also has an exciting programme of exhibitions planned for 2006. The first exhibition of the year, opening in February, explores the domestication of the dog, and the variety of dog breeds that are around today. This is followed by an exhibition about nature's deadliest animals, in July. Only 45 minutes by train from the capital, it's well worth a visit.

Dr Michael Dixon
Director, Natural History Museum

Current exhibitions and activities

Architecture Multimedia Tour
Get closer to the rich design features of the Museum's unique building and discover more about its architecture by taking a self-guided multimedia tour, using a hand-held computer.
 
Uncover the story of the Museum's creation, from the passion and vision of its first director, Richard Owen, who campaigned for a separate building to house the British Museum's natural history collections, to the brilliance of up-and-coming young architect, Alfred Waterhouse, who helped Owen realise his dream. When the Museum opened in 1881, it was hailed as 'a true temple of nature'. Take a new look at this extraordinary building, exploring the fascinating details and architectural features often overlooked.
Dates:  until April 2006
Cost of tour:  £3.50
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk/architecture-tour


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2005
Be inspired by extraordinary photographs of the natural world. This year's highlights include the winning shot of a swirling flock of starlings evading a predatory peregrine falcon, and the young winner, capturing an inquisitive jay perched on a snowy pine branch. Chosen from more than 17,000 entries the 84 images on display are the very best photographs of nature.

Organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is the largest and most successful event of its kind in the world. By showing the splendour, drama and variety of life on Earth, the competition aims to inspire people to care for its future. The exhibition is a showcase of the award winners. 
Dates: until 23 April 2006
Ticket booking:  0870 013 0731
Admission:  £6, £3.50 concessions, £15 family ticket (up to five people including at least one adult), Museum Members, Patrons and children under 5 free
Website:  
www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto

Forthcoming events and exhibitions

The Ship: The Art of Climate Change
This contemporary art exhibition features work by artists, architects and writers inspired by their journeys to the Arctic as part of the Cape Farewell project. The Ship: The Art of Climate Change aims to explore each artist's awareness of environmental changes caused by global warming. The Natural History Museum is working with Cape Farewell to create the first large-scale contemporary art exhibition of these works.

Installation artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey are creating a piece using the skeleton of a minke whale, beached in Skegness at Gibraltar Point. They will transform the skeletal bones by growing jewel-like crystals of alum (a clear mix of aluminium and potassium) around them, lending transience to this endangered marine mammal. A selection of the bones will be laid out on Perspex to create a new installation specifically for the exhibition. 

Sculptor Alex Hartley has made a tongue-in-cheek return to the footsteps of early explorers by appropriating an island off the coast of Svalbard, Norway, revealed by a retreating glacier. In The Ship: The Art of Climate Change Alex will describe the processes he followed in order to name and register Cape Farewell Island.

Other artists, writers and architects who travelled to the arctic include David Buckland, Gary Hume, Antony Gormley, Peter Clegg, Max Eastley, Rachel Whiteread, Ian McEwan, Kathy Barber, Siobhan Davies, Gautier Deblonde, Nick Edwards, Gretel Ehrlich, David Hinton, Michèle Noach and Suba Subramaniam. Some of these artists will also be creating artworks for the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the Climate Change Youth Summit, a four-day conference aimed at improving awareness and inspiring advocacy in young adults (KS 4-5 age 6-18). Key speakers include Sir David King (the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser) and Elliot Morley (the minister with special responsibility for climate change), who will also be joined by artists, scientists and policy makers exploring climate change and its social and global implications.
Dates: 3 June - late August 2006 (exact closing date tbc)
Admission:  Free

Dino Jaws
What did dinosaurs eat - and how do we know? Featuring the most frighteningly lifelike moving dinosaurs ever created, this family blockbuster exhibition explores the sometimes gruesome, and often disgusting, subject of dinosaurs and their food.

From the infamous flesh-eating T. rex to the plant-munching Iguanodon, different dinosaurs ate different foods and often had unique ways of gathering (or catching) their dinner. This spectacular new exhibition will include intriguing fossil evidence, fun hands-on exhibits, fascinating scientific insights and the most spectacular animatronics you have ever seen - revealing everything scientists now know about what and how dinosaurs ate.

Dig for fossil evidence to discover what Baryonyx ate. Plunge your hands into a huge dinosaur poo to find traces of what Euoplocephalus munched on. And discover the chilling theory about what the deadly Coelophysis had for dinner.
Dates: 30 June 2006 - May 2007
Admission:  tbc  


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2006
Be inspired by stunning photographs of the natural world. Every picture tells a story and each image in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is captioned to reveal the tale of how and why it was taken.

Organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is the most prestigious and successful event of its kind in the world. The competition's aim is to showcase the very best photographic images of nature to a worldwide audience, showing the splendour, drama and variety of life on Earth to inspire people to care for its future. The winners are showcased in a stunning exhibition launched at the Natural History Museum, and then toured around the UK and the world.

For most wildlife photographers, raising awareness of the threats faced by animals, plants and habitats is just as important as capturing the beauty of a moment with perfect composition and timing. There are 12 adult entry categories ranging from The Underwater World and Animal Portraits to Wild Places and In Praise of Plants. A new category, Creative Visions of Nature, will be included in the 2006 competition. The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition encourages photographers to get involved early with three age categories: 10 years and under, 11-14 years old and 15-17 years old.
Dates: 21 October 2006 - April 2007
Admission:  £6, £3.50 concessions, £15 family ticket (up to five people including at least one adult), Museum Members, Patrons and children under 5 free
Website:  
www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto

Events and activities

Ice Rink and Christmas Fair
Whether you're an expert or a novice, a glider or a slider, skating in the open air is a magical and exhilarating experience. Now, for the first time, you can enjoy winter skating at our spectacular outdoor Ice Rink, on the east lawn. Why not team up with friends, colleagues and family to enjoy an hour of pure escapism, against the magnificent backdrop of one of London's most iconic buildings.

Turn your session into a real occasion with a visit to the rink's Cafe Bar. Here you can relax over a drink or treat yourself to a delicious and warming snack. Make it the perfect winter experience by indulging in a spot of shopping for unusual and inspirational gifts at the adjacent Christmas Fair.
Dates and times:  until 22 January 2006, Monday-Saturday 10.00-22.00, Sundays 11.00-22.00. Christmas Fair closes 8 January 2006.
Ticket booking: 0870 060 1780 or at www.nhmskating.com
Admission:  Tickets per session: £10/£11, £9/£10 concessions, £7 children, £28 families (prices apply to day/evening where two are shown)
Website: www.nhmskating.com


Time Out After Hours
Go wild at the weekend with a Friday night visit to Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Experience London's most unique Friday night out and relax to the sounds of Latin, jazz and world music at our champagne and cocktail bar serving tapas-style food in the stunning Central Hall, or visit our shop bursting with imaginative ideas for gifts.
Dates and times:  every Friday until 24 February 2006, 10.00-21.00
Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5011
Wildlife Photographer
of the Year admission:  £6, £3.50 concessions, £15 family (up to five, minimum one adult), FREE to under 5s
Ticket booking:  www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto or 0870 013 0731
Nearest tube:  South Kensington
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk


China in London 2006 (February and March 2006)
Join us as we take part in China in London 2006, a city-wide season of cultural events to celebrate the arts, culture and historic links between London and China. Organised by the Mayor of London, Visit London, the London Chinatown Chinese Association and a number of leading cultural institutions, events at the Museum include performances, Darwin Centre Live events and family workshops.

Performance workshops:
The Emperor and the Nightingale: Saturday 11 February, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00
Movement Inspired by Animals: Saturday 25 February, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00
Chinese Lion Dancing: Saturday 25 March, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00

Children's events:
Chinese Dragon Half Term: 13-17 February (storytelling sessions)
Discover the Chinese Dragon: daily, 11.00 and 15.00
Journey with a Chinese Dragon: daily, 12.00 and 14.00

Darwin Centre Live events:
Chinese Dinosaurs: Tuesday 7 February, 14.30
Chinese Medicinal Plants: Friday 10 February, 14.30
Flight of the DinoBirds: Wednesday 15 February, 14.30

Diverse City Season
Building on the success of the 2005 launch of Diverse City Season, a similar programme of events for 2006 is planned. Experience fantastic free cultural events, for all ages, which celebrates the ethnic diversity of multicultural Britain. Enjoy demonstrations, workshops, Darwin Centre Live events and family activities that highlight the important role many cultures play in increasing our understanding of the natural world. Black History Month events are included.
Dates and times:  Throughout October 2006, until the end of December

Events and exhibitions at the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring

Our sister museum in Tring, Hertfordshire, opened in the late 1800s to house the collections of Lionel Walter, second Baron Rothschild. Only a 45-minute train journey from the capital, it offers outstanding examples of nineteenth-century taxidermy at its very best, from walls lined with fish to a seated adult polar bear, and was bequeathed to the nation in 1938. It is now an annexe of the Natural History Museum. The public galleries have been modernised, but the fascinating character of the Museum has been retained.

Dogs: Man-Made Friends?
From deerhounds to dachshunds and wolfhounds to whippets, no other species has the amazing diversity of shape and size that we see in dogs. Over hundreds of years, humans have shaped 'man's best friend' to suit their needs. This exhibition explores the origins of our domestic dogs and their relationship with us.
Dates:  Monday 13 February - Sunday 9 July 2006
Admission:  Free


Nature's Deadliest: The Most Poisonous Animals in the World
Deadly, poisonous and fatal - take a closer look at some of the most lethal animals on the planet.
Dates:  26 July - 3 December 2006
Admission:  Free

New books from the Natural History Museum in 2006

Spring

  • Tasmanian Devil: A Unique and Threatened Animal by David Owen and David Pemberton
    This is the first book to be published about the world's largest marsupial carnivore.
     £12.99, hardback with jacket
  • Exposing Nature: The Natural History Museum Photography Guide by Frank Greenaway
    Good news for keen photographers: the Museum is bringing out this essential guide to wildlife photography.
     £16.99, paperback
  • Agates: Treasures of the Earth by Roger Pabian with Brian Jackson, Peter Tandy and John Cromartie
    This new book will be a unique resource for the large numbers of agate collectors in the UK
    and abroad.
    £16.99, hardback

Summer
We are publishing three books to coincide with the new Dino Jaws exhibition. Titles to be confirmed.

  • Dino Jaws picture book for ages 3-7
  • Natural History Museum Dinosaur! Sticker Book, Dino Jaws special edition for ages 4-6
  • The Natural History Museum Book of Dinosaurs 3rd edn. for ages 12+

Autumn

  • Whales and Dolphins by Sarah Lazarus
    This book tells the astonishing history of the relationship between whales and humans over the centuries since the first whale was caught.
    £12.99 tbc, hardback with jacket
  • Whale Watcher: A Global Guide by Trevor Day
    A stunning, illustrated coffee-table guide to whales of the world, for the armchair whale-watcher or anyone who's ever dreamed of doing it for real.
    £19.99, hardback with jacket
  • New Endeavour by Bob Bloomfield
    A beautifully told tale of travels in the footsteps of eminent scientist, wealthy patron and statesman Joseph Banks, who sailed in the ship Endeavour commanded by Captain James Cook.
    £12.99, hardback with jacket
  • The Art and Nature of William Bartram by Judith Magee
    William Bartram was the first American-born natural historian, whose art and writings were a huge success in America and influenced romantic authors such as Wordsworth and Coleridge.
    £30.00 tbc, hardback

Visitor information

Opening hours
The Natural History Museum:   The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum:
Monday-Saturday 10.00-17.50   Monday-Saturday 10.00-17.00
Sunday 11.00-17.50    Sunday 14.00-17.00
Closed 24-26 December   Closed 24-26 December

Where to find us
The Natural History Museum   The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum
Cromwell Road     Akeman Street
London      Tring, Herts
SW7 5BD     HP23 6AP

Admission
Entry to the Natural History Museum and the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum is free. Prices for major exhibitions are listed on previous pages.

Visitor enquiries
The Natural History Museum
General enquiries: 020 7942 5000 (Monday to Friday). 020 7942 5511 (Saturday and Sunday)
Darwin Centre enquiries: 020 7942 6128
School party bookings: 020 7942 5555
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk

The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum
Tel: 020 7942 6171
Booking: for event booking forms, please call 020 7942 6163 (lines open Monday-Saturday
10.00-16.00 and Sunday 14.00-16.00)
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk/museum/tring

Access
The Natural History Museum is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. For details, please telephone
020 7942 5000. Parking is also available, for details please telephone 020 7942 5888.

The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum has step-free access on the ground floor, café and shop. Parking is also available. For details please telephone 020 7942 6171.

For further information please telephone +44 (0)20 7942 5654 or email press@nhm.ac.uk