X Close

Museums & Collections Blog

Home

News and musings from the UCL Culture team

Menu

Following Captain Cook, and How the Kangaroo Nearly Never Was

JackAshby24 October 2014

The Grant Museum is extremely excited to be a partner in the National Maritime Museum’s Travelers’ Tails project, which will involve this painting of a kangaroo by George Stubbs – the first ever western painting of Australian wildlife – coming to the Grant in March.

The Kongouro from New Holland (Kangaroo), George Stubbs (1772). ZBA5754 (L6685-001). National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London*

The Kongouro from New Holland (Kangaroo), George Stubbs (1772). ZBA5754 (L6685-001). National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London*

Last month I was in Australia on zoological fieldwork. I decided to visit the places that Cook went on his first voyage of discovery, which resulted in Britain’s first kangaroo encounters and ultimately this painting being made. It very nearly didn’t happen, and Cook’s Australian expedition would have been a zoological disappointment.

I wrote this post for the National Maritime Museum’s blog. It begins…

The kangaroo painting that might never have been – following in Cook’s footsteps

The painting of the kangaroo by George Stubbs would never have existed if it weren’t for an extraordinary bit of bad luck in a very dangerous situation. (more…)