Graphic illustration of Darwin's Evolution set for lengthy spell at Manchester Museum

By Mark Sheerin | 24 September 2009
A picture of a tortoise

Exhibition: Charles Darwin: Evolution of a Scientist, The Manchester Museum, Manchester, October 3 2009-August 30 2010

An innovative exhibition at The Manchester Museum is set to dramatise the life story of Darwin. Charles Darwin: Evolution of a Scientist will combine graphic novel style illustrations with key artefacts collected by the naturalist over the course of his career.

A picture of an illustration of a man in a beard and overcoat

Graphic novel drawings illustrate the life of Darwin. © Chrissie Morgan

The artwork re-imagines moments from the scientist's boyhood and student days, his voyage aboard The Beagle and his controversial success following publication of his radical theories. It has been produced by artist Chrissie Morgan in collaboration with Darwin experts at The University of Manchester.

A picture of a cartoon illustration of a scientist

© Chrissie Morgan

Also showing are letters written at sea, as well as moss collected on Tierra del Fuego, corals from the Indian Ocean and a finch from the Galapagos Islands. Darwin used a pocket sextant for navigation, and this too is exhibited. Visitors can also meet pigeons from the collection of the famous part-time pigeon fancier.

A picture of a letter on parchment

Letters written by Darwin at sea feature. © The Manchester Museum

"Charles Darwin is most familiar to us as an old man with a long flowing beard," says Curator of Zoology Henry McGhie. "We wanted to communicate more about Darwin as a person."

A picture of a colourful poster for an exhibition on Charles Darwin

The imaginative show will be in Manchester for more than a year. © The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum has a number of links to the story of evolution, not least thanks to founder Thomas Huxley, the Victorian scientist often called Darwin's Bulldog.

Evolution of a Scientist is the highlight of a year-long Darwin extravaganza, planned to mark the 150th anniversary of publication of The Origin of the Species.

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