James Cook: The Voyages

27 April–28 August 2018

Exhibition Overview

James Cook

It is 250 years since Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour set sail from Plymouth. James Cook: The Voyages tells the story of Cook’s three world-changing voyages through original documents, many of which were produced by the artists, scientists and sailors on board the ships.

Maps, artworks and journals from the voyages sit alongside newly-commissioned films offering contemporary perspectives. Examine the expeditions that shaped Europe’s knowledge of the world and consider their far-reaching legacy.

See Cook’s handwritten journal detailing the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle, when they travelled further south than anyone in the world, stunning artwork including the earliest European depiction of a kangaroo, and intricate maps charting the voyages that spanned more than a decade.

Drawings by the Polynesian high priest and navigator Tupaia, who accompanied Cook to New Zealand and Australia, will be displayed together for the first time. These will sit alongside works by expedition artists Sydney Parkinson, William Hodges and John Webber.

Hear the stories. Read the diaries. Revisit the momentous voyages made 250 years ago.

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Videos and Stories