Curious Beasts: Animal prints from Dürer to Goya


21 October 2016–05 February 2017

10am - 5pm daily
South Australian Museum


Museum Members receive unlimited free VIP entry
$17 adults*
$14 concession
Children under 16 free when accompanied by a paying adult (LIMITED TIME, SPECIAL OFFER)
$35 families (2 adults and up to 3 children)

Limited Tours are available, please click for details & bookings


Curious Beasts delves into our enduring curiosity about the animal world through beautiful and bizarre imagery found in prints of the 15th to the early 19th centuries in the British Museum’s collection. The exhibition explores the natural world as it was expressed in the vibrant print culture of the early modern period. Printmaking emerged as a major art form and communication tool in the 15th century, coinciding with an increasing interest in and investigation of flora and fauna.

Featuring over 80 works on paper and rare items for the South Australian Museum’s collections, Curious Beasts looks at how printmakers contributed to knowledge of animals, but also at the wildly different ways in which the animal subject inspired graphic artists. The exhibition features prints by well-known artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya and George Stubbs, as well as many treasures by artists rarely seen. 

The South Australian Museum is the only venue in the Southern Hemisphere showing this extraordinary collection. It will be the last time the prints will be seen together before they return back to storage in the Study Room of the British Museum.

During Curious Beasts enjoy a variety of programs for children, young adults and adults to explore the relationship between the invention of printmaking and increasing curiousity about the natural world. 

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the South Australian Museum. Our generous partners include:

 The South Australian Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Curious Beasts Leadership Council. 

David and Pam McKee

Mrs Diana McLaurin

Mr Antony Simpson and Mrs Mary Lou Simpson

Mary and Peter Sutherland

K Wood


*This exhibition is companion card friendly


Frederick Hendrik Van Hove (1628-98)
The famous porcupine, 2nd half of the 17th century
© The Trustees of the British Museum