Projects, events and news from the University of Cambridge Museums
6 months after she trundled through Cambridge following a late night at her Namesake College’s May Ball, Clare the Tyrannosaurus rex has finally moved to her new home. The half-size metal sculpture is now a permanent feature outside the entrance to the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences.
The welded sheet metal skeleton needed a new owner after featuring as a centrepiece at the ‘Primordial’ themed Ball. Dr David Norman, the Sedgwick Museum’s Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology, negotiated its acquisition and then members of museum staff and volunteers, with help from the May Ball team, moved it through the streets of Cambridge to Downing Site.
Clare was unveiled by its creator, Doncaster-based blacksmith Ian Curran, at lunchtime on January 30th. Ian and his wife made the trip South for the day and were taken on a brief tour of the museum and had lunch at Clare College. The unveiling was attended by members of the Department of Earth Sciences and representatives from the University of Cambridge Museums and Clare College.
Standing over 2 metres tall and 6 meters in length, Clare’s bony metallic frame is unmissable as she lurks behind the bicycle racks next to the museum’s steps. There she will greet visitors with her toothy maw as they make their way towards the entrance. The sculpture is attached to a huge concrete slab, buried underground, to keep it safe and secure. In a few months’ time plants similar to those that lived 65 million years ago, at the same time as T. rex, will be planted around its base.
Clare’s temporary accommodation since the Ball had been behind scaffolding hoarding outside the University’s Archaeology department. This dusty, dirty environment surrounded by hi-viz jackets, hard hats and cups of tea was a far cry from the glamorous tuxedos, Ball gowns and champagne she experienced on her first night in Cambridge, and much closer to that of a palaeontological dig site!
The sculpture will be illuminated for Twilight at the Museums on Wednesday 18th February so visitors can see her whilst they queue up to visit the Sedgwick after Dark. The museum will also be running a half term trail following Clare around the museum too.
Rob Theodore, Collections Assistant, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences