New explorers shape new Curious Case show at the Great North Museum: Hancock

By Ben Miller | 24 July 2012
A photo of a young girl looking at ancient artefacts inside a see-through museum case
© Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
Cultural Olympiad 2012: The Curious Case of..., Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle, until September 23 2012

Letting a group of young people nosey through a museum collection seems a pretty entertaining idea, but it helps when the collection in question is the globe-spinning one at Newcastle’s Hancock.

A photo of an ancient Oriental sculpture in brown wood against a dark background
A root carving from China is one Curious Case
© Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
Natty shoes from Turkey, a Maori nose flute from New Zealand, a sea sponge coat from Taiwan and a head hunter’s knife from Borneo have all turned up in a project overseen by a team of 17-24 year-olds, helped by curators keen to turn their discoveries into one cleverly-crafted display.

“The exhibition is incredibly interactive,” says Sophie Robinson, the co-ordinator on the Journeys of Discovery campaign.

“It is very exciting that all the research and hard work that the young people have done over the past year has come together to form a major exhibition.

"We hope that visitors will take this opportunity to join the conversation and contribute their own thoughts and ideas.”

The project has allowed more than 100 fresh faces from Durham, Middlebrough and Newcastle to find out more about the collections held in north-east museums, culminating in three new exhibitions.

Visit to find out more, or visit the project's Facebook page.

  • Open 10am-5pm (1pm-5pm Sunday). Admission free.

More pictures:

A photo of a white porcelain sculpture of a four-legged creature on a black surface
This Inuit carving is thought to originate from Canada or Alaska
© Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
A photo of a young girl looking at an Oriental carving inside a see-through museum case
One of the young curators takes a look at the rooty centrepiece
© Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
A photo of a young woman standing in a museum looking at a cabinet of curiosities
A modern-day Cabinet of Curiosities is part of the show
© Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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