Museum news and exhibitions

The latest on acquisitions, exhibitions, and key decisions.

Dinosaur tumour on display

A cast of a dinosaur fossil preserving the earliest known example of a malignant tumour has gone on display at the Science Museum in London as part of a new exhibition exploring how the understanding, detection, and treatment of cancer has evolved.

Discovered in 2020, the osteosarcoma affects the shin bone of a centrosaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur with a spiny neck frill and a long horn on its nose that lived in Canada during the Late Cretaceous period (c.100 million-66 million years ago). A resin cast of the bone (below) has been loaned by the Royal Ontario Museum, and is now on display in the UK for the first time.

IMAGE: Science Museum Group.

The exhibition includes 125 objects tracing the history of cancer treatment, and showcasing some of the latest research and discoveries in this field – as well as highlighting challenges that still need to overcome. There are also artworks exploring the emotional and psychological impact of living with cancer.

Cancer Revolution: science, innovation, and hope (a partnership with Cancer Research UK, sponsored by Pfizer and supported by the John S Cohen Foundation and Julian Howard) runs until January 2023; see www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/cancer-revolution for more information.

New interpretations for Clachtoll Broch

The Clachtoll Broch Project has been working to excavate and conserve an Iron Age tower-structure that burned down 2,000 years ago, sealing an amazing array of archaeological material inside (see CA 367). The initiative won the 2021 CA Award for Rescue Project of the Year – and readers who are curious to learn more about the Highland site can now visit a newly built facility at the nearby Clachtoll car park, housing interpretive material and displays.

Like the archaeological work, the new Clachtoll Ranger Hut (which is located less than a mile around the coast from the Broch) was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, within the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape partnership. It is managed by the North West Highlands Geopark in association with Historic Assynt and the Highlife Highland Ranger Service, and its displays, put together by the three partners, explore local geology, natural history, and archaeology. Those centred on the Broch include replica finds and the CA Award trophy, which have been placed in a window cabinet visible from both outside and inside the building; inside, there is further information summarising the excavation’s discoveries.

A new popular book about the Broch is available locally, and can be ordered from Gordon Sleight at gsassynt@gmail.com, for £6.56 including postage and packing.

A model queen

A new, free display marking Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee has opened at the British Museum, featuring the first-ever portrait of the monarch created for British currency in 1952, and showcasing the life and work of the artist behind its design: Mary Gillick (1881-1965).

Gillick’s image of the Queen, combining modern and Italian Renaissance ideas, was also adapted for use on commemorative stamps from 1966, and coins bearing the profile remained in circulation until the 1990s.

Supported by the Asahi Shimbun Company, the display includes large-scale plaster models of Gillick’s portrait, documents relating to the new coins, and drawings and photographs (loaned from the Henry Moore Institute) illustrating the creative process in full. Visitors can also see medals created by Gillick in the 1910s-1950s, and other significant commissions including a portrait of the suffragette Ida Wylie.

Mary Gillick: modelling the Queen’s portrait can be visited until 31 July; see www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/mary-gillick-modelling-queens-portrait for more details.

New exhibitions

Anatomy: a matter of death and life

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Until 30 Oct 2022

Swords of Kingdoms: the Staffordshire Hoard at Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
Until 30 October 2022

The Galloway Hoard: Viking Age treasure

Aberdeen Art Gallery
30 July-23 October 2022

On Your Doorstep

Oriel y Parc Gallery & Visitor Centre, St David’s
Until spring 2023

Brought to Light: the remarkable Bateman Collection

Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
Until 15 January 2023

Last chance to see

The World of Stonehenge

British Museum, London
Until 17 July 2022