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Art and Science

Art has always been part of the Science Museum. From the museum’s origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851, to our founding collections that moved from the Patent Museum in 1909, we have always had art and science in dialogue.

Today, the museum’s art collections comprise over 15,000 objects, ranging from the 1500s to now, including paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture, kinetic and digital works.

The arts feature in our permanent galleries, exhibitions, research and events programmes, and we regularly commission new works from contemporary artists.  We think that art can help people to look at science differently and that science asks different questions of the arts.

Here we bring together stories about art and science from our exhibitions and galleries, highlights from the collection, discussion of past projects, and blogs that delve into some key moments when the arts and sciences have shaped each other, both in the world, and in our collections.

The Art of Innovation

Catch the thoughtful and engaging series The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter on BBC Radio 4, presented by Sir Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, and Dr Tilly Blyth, Head of Collections & Principal Curator at the Science Museum,

The series first ran in 2019, when BBC Radio 4 and the Science Museum Group embarked on an exciting  partnership exploring the relationship between art and science over the past 250 years.  As well as the 20-part  radio series, the Museum hosted an exhibition that expanded on the themes addressed in the series, and published an accompanying book with further stories appearing online.

Part of the Science Museum Group