Queen Victoria

This larger-than-life portrait of Queen Victoria, ageing, careworn, and sad, was sculpted between 1887-1889 as she celebrated 50 years on the throne.

As a portrait of an obviously older, powerful woman (Victoria was aged 68), it's unusual in a museum gallery, where the walls are covered with young beauties. But she is also a powerful symbol of the British Empire. Portraits in museums allow us to think about who was celebrated in the past, and how our opinions of them may have changed over time.

Woman elbowing centaur

A battle is taking place between humans and centaurs: a wedding party gone disastrously wrong.

A woman fights off a centaur - a creature that is half-man, half-horse - with a well-placed elbow. This monumental sculpture decorated the temple of the king of the ancient Greek gods, Zeus, at Olympia. It's been well-studied, in other words. But no one studies it from the woman's perspective. 

Justyna Ladosz, Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Museum of Classical Archaeology, tells us more.

"Man from Tutuila with hair bound [and] unbound"

A pair of studio photographs from colonial Samoa, taken in the 1870s, speak of complex colonial histories and different understandings of race, gender and gender fluidity.

We don't know the name of the subject of the photographs: the labels simply say "man from Tutulia with hair bound [and] unbound". 

Anita Herle, Senior Curator at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, tells us more.

The Barrington Quarry Rhino

In 1900, in Barrington, near Cambridge, three men pose for a photograph alongside a partially-excavated fossil rhinocerus skill.

How can we imagine the interactions between these three men from very different social classes. Were they respectful of each other's knowledge? Or was it strongly hierarchical?

Liz Hide, Director of the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, tells us more.

Subscribe to Museum Remix Unheard