Grant Museum to close

Matt Brown reports that the awesome Grant Museum of Zoology is to close on July 1st. The Grant Museum is a hidden gem. It’s tiny, and shoved away somewhere deep within the labyrinths of UCL, between Totenham Court Road and Gower Street, near Goodge St tube. There are no signs. You might need a guide to find it.

But it’s a fabulously old fashioned bit of academic natural history. Victorian, even. Skeletons and pickled specimens in huge old jars on tightly packed shelves. There’s charismatic macrofauna stuffed into this small room, surrounded by smaller specimens, from the every-day to the long extinct. There’s Thomas Henry Huxley’s Tasmanian Tiger specimen, brutally hacked to pieces and stuffed in a small jar on a bottom shelf.

And it has the perfect light. A few small windows, partially obscured by the dense collections, and some old fashioned small, warm, bulbs.

The Grant Museum will reopen next year. But it will be in new, modern, enlarged premises. It’s an active academic workspace; teaching and research require this progress. But it will be a shame if its unique charm is lost along the way. Catch it while you can — weekday afternoons, 1-5pm, free entry, if you can find it.

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