This exhibition is a celebration of Charles Darwin's ground-breaking work on evolution, popularly known from his publication The origin of species.
Don't miss this superb exhibition, which takes you on an exciting journey in Darwin's own footsteps.
The exhibition shines a light on the contemporary ideas which influenced Darwin, on the specimens and records he collected as a young man on a round-the-world voyage of exploration, and on the observations which formed the basis of his theory of evolution. A theory which all modern biologists rely on and take for granted, but which in Darwin's time was shocking and revolutionary.
Imagine you're a natural scientist on a voyage of exploration
As you make your way round this exhibition, you'll encounter displays and exhibits which illuminate different aspects of evolution as it was understood then and now, not forgetting the exciting new discoveries made with the help of today's technology. So it's not just skeletons, stuffed animals and colourful insects you'll meet on this trip. We've pulled out all the stops to create a good experience for you.
The Sandwalk is the thread which connects the different parts of the exhibition together, and is named after Darwin's habit of taking a walk in the garden to ponder over his thoughts and ideas. On the way you can visit a reconstruction of the cramped, low-ceilinged cabin which for five years was Darwin's home, office and laboratory on the 90-foot survey ship HMS Beagle. Here you can go in amongst the books and sea-charts and get a feeling of the conditions under which the young naturalist had to work, as he developed into a far-thinking scientist during his round-the-world voyage in 1831-36.
Then you can marvel at the strange animal and plant life on the Galapagos islands, just like Darwin did, and like him you can hear the waves crashing on the islands' shores. Darwin's observations on the Galapagos would later form a very important plank in his arguments in favour of evolution by natural selection. Take a look also at Darwin's study with its many interesting curios and knick-knacks. This reconstruction was inspired by Darwin's study at Down House near London, where he lived and worked for most of his life after returning from the voyage of the Beagle.
Tree of Life
Naturally the visitor to the exhibition also expects to see Darwin's Tree of Life. On a famous page from his notebooks from 1837, Darwin works out a natural historian's version of an evolutionary tree. The page begins with the words: "I think" on their own, and there follows his first known sketch of a tree-like outline, showing how new species branch off from the existing species, which in turn can be traced back to a common origin. Phylogenetic trees appear today in countless scientific articles, from studies of the evolution of elephants to comparisons of strains of the HIV-virus, and the concept is an example of how far ahead of his time Darwin was.
Have a good trip!
Read more here
Natural History Museum of Denmark
2100 Copenhagen Ø
Tlf: 22 83 63 55
Watch the exhibition being built
Department of Philosophy and History of Ideas