Woven Histories

Botanical illustration is often admired for its beauty and accuracy, which can mask the ways in which the plant was acquired in the first place and the brutality of the war and violence which enabled the plant to be seen, studied, collected and painted.

In the collage Woven Histories, Claire O'Brien weaves together the Fitzwilliam Museum's beautiful watercolour of the plant josephinia imperatricis, named for the French Empress Joséphine, with a commanding image of Joséphine's husband Napoleon Bonaparte. It's impossible to see one without the other.

Josephine Hybrid

What can the botany-loving Empress Joséphine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, tell us about the relationship between science and empire? 

Helen Grundy's artwork Josephine Hybrid is inspired by a botanical watercolour in the Fitzwilliam Museum by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. The watercolour depicts the plant josephinia imperatricis, named after Empress Joséphine. In this collage, Helen splices together josephinia imperatricis with a portrait of its namesake.

Asylum Zine

Katy Whitaker's Asylum Zine is inspired by a pair of 18th-century spectacles in the Whipple Museum of the History of Science and the questions they raise around definitions of disability, how these change over time, and who gets to decide who is disabled and who not.

The zine, or mini magazine, is comprised of layers of a historical Ordnance Survey, text from Historic England's National Heritage List for England (seemingly "objective" and "official" records) and contrasts two institutions for patients with mental ill-hea

Live Q&A: The Roman Figurine and the British Sign Language Plate

Our second Live Q&A for Museum Remix: Unheard is your chance to ask our museum experts your questions about the figurine from Naukratis and the British Sign Language alphabet plate.

Live on YouTube: Tuesday 28 July, 12.30pm


  • Sade Ojelade, Museum and Collections Assistant at the Museum of Classical Archaeology (MOCA)
  • Eleanor Wilkinson, Teaching and Collections Assistant at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA)

and George Doji, Museum Remix host.