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World Cultures Galleries are closed for redevelopment
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Gallery 20 will be closed from Friday 1 Dec until noon Saturday 2 December
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The cast of a fossil Archaeopteryx

Inspired by RAMM

Some of the thoughts stimulated by RAMM, its collections and activities go on to develop a life of their own. Discover some of the creativity inspired by RAMM.

Nearly 100 years ago one particular object so inspired Thomas Hardy that he wrote a poem. Local Author Jo Graham included Gerald the Museum’s iconic giraffe in her latest novel.

If you know of others, please tell us.

Thomas Hardy

In a Museum

Here’s the mould of a musical bird long passed from light,
Which over the earth before man came was winging;
There’s a contralto voice I heard last night,
That lodges in me still with its sweet singing.
Such a dream is Time that the coo of this ancient bird
Has perished not, but is blent, or will be blending
Mid visionless wilds of space with the voice that I heard,
In the full-fugued song of the universe unending.

Hardy’s poem was inspired by the cast of a fossil Archaeopteryx. When the fossil was first found in the late 19th century it caused quite a stir. Having many features in common with both dinosaurs and birds, for example teeth and feathers, it provided evidence for the missing evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds and became a key specimen in the debate about evolution.

RAMM has a cast of the Berlin specimen of 1877, one of only seven good specimens found worldwide. It is a truly inspirational object and can be seen in the In Fine Feather gallery.

Cathie Hartigan

Exeter author Cathie Hartigan’s debut novel, Secret of the Song, is set in contemporary Exeter and 16th-century Italy; the novel starts and ends in RAMM. The plot revolves around a song that is found in the museum. “How could I resist including a scene in RAMM’s distinctive pink foyer? It’s a favourite place of mine.”

Published by CreativeWritingMatters (2015), Secret of the Song is available at the Shop at RAMM, Createspace and Amazon Kindle.

Show of Hands

Show of Hands is one of England’s finest and most popular roots duos. Steve Knightley and Phil Beer are both patrons of RAMM and their 2011 song Home to a Million Thoughts was written especially for the museum’s re-opening in December 2011.

Exmouth Ceramics Group

Exmouth Ceramic Groups’s 2012 Exhibition was one of the highlights of this year’s Exmouth Festival. The show’s theme was Behind the Scenes at the Museum in celebration of RAMM’s reopening.

Joanna Graham

Winner of the 2012 Luke Bitmead Award, Lacey’s House is a new book by local author Jo Graham. Set in and around Exeter, RAMM and Gerald, the museum’s iconic giraffe, are mentioned.

Published by Legend Press, her book is available on Amazon.

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