Dippy on Tour: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery | Redbrick - Culture | University of Birmingham

Dippy on Tour: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Dippy the Diplodocus has arrived at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as part of his UK tour. Madeline McInnis gives Redbrick her thoughts on the exhibition

Dippy the Diplodocus has arrived at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery! The Natural History Museum’s famous dinosaur cast is on tour around Britain in an effort to educate various communities. It will be in Birmingham from 26 May - 9 September 2018.

Though Dippy is the centrepiece of the exhibit, the theme of the display is more modern. The Museum and Gallery focus on the evolution of dinosaurs into their closest living relative — birds. The exhibition is split into several different sections; clockwise from the entrance, you walk around some skeletons and bones, feathers, eggs and nests, a play area for young children, the ‘age of birds’, the flying and flightless, local birds and conservation, and a shop. The shop seems to carry different merchandise than the main museum shop and has a special emphasis, understandably, on dinosaurs, but some merchandise caters to the modern birds as well.  The exhibit explains that the sauropods - the family of dinosaurs Dippy was cast from - did not evolve into birds, but theropod dinosaurs, such as the Tyrannosaurus rex, did. Despite the main attraction not matching the information around it, the theme was apt and despite being a bit of a dinosaur enthusiast, I still learned a lot.

the exhibition focuses on the evolution of dinosaurs into their closest living relative — birds.

The exhibit features a great balance of the birds and the dinosaurs, it made it very easy to compare and see the similarities that were described in each individual section. A personal favourite of mine was a cast of a dodo skeleton near the flightless section. This was a clever attraction and the comparison between this cast and Dippy was quite humorous.

It was also important to see the local birds and conservation section. Between the lines of the extinct creatures around them, it served as a bit of a warning as to what could happen if we continue as we are. It helped to identify birds in the West Midlands that we probably see every day and those who have become threatened by various human activities. 

the inclusion of the local birds and the conservation sections served to warn us as to what could happen if we continue as we are

The exhibition is in Gas Hall, which can be accessed via the street or through the 20th Century British Ceramics display. Tickets are free and can be found on the museum website. Though tickets seem to be going quickly, you should be alright if you just book a day or two in advance. This is the second leg of Dippy’s tour across the country. From 10 February - 7 May 2018, the cast was in Dorset County Museum. After Birmingham, he will travel to Ulster Museum in Northern Ireland. The tour will end in 2020, more details can be found on the national history museum website.

The decision to remove Dippy from the entrance of the National History Museum was met with considerable backlash; including a '#SaveDippy' campaign and a popular change.com petition. His spot has since been replaced by the museum’s blue whale skeleton. Despite the initial negative reaction to Dippy's tour, he continues to be a major beloved attraction. Gas Hall was full with eager instagrammers and children alike. Catch Dippy over the summer before he hits the road again.



18th June 2018 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

17th June 2018 at 11:33 am

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