Behind the Heads: Natural History, Empire and the Abel Chapman Collection
A closer look at the human stories behind the trophy heads in our collection
As we reassess our collections in the context of the twenty-first century museum, this display explores some of the stories behind the Great North Museum: Hancock’s taxidermy objects. It takes a closer look at the origins of hunting trophies donated to the museum by the Sunderland-born hunter Abel Chapman in 1929.
Recent research into these trophies shows how these objects can illuminate the relationship between hunting and the British Empire. We examine how and why these trophies were made and the often brutal impact of European hunting safaris on indigenous African people and wildlife.
Find out more in two detailed blogs written by Dan Gordon, Keeper of Biology: