Cook Museum’s £69,000 grant for new project

Sophie Forgan of Captain Cook Memorial Museum with youngsters at the recent takeover day,
Sophie Forgan of Captain Cook Memorial Museum with youngsters at the recent takeover day,

The Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby has been awarded a £69,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its project Botanical Endeavours – the Art and Science of Plants from Captain Cook’s first voyage.

The three year grant will enable the museum to house the collection of botanical prints created as a result of Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific and bring them to life with an ambitious outreach programme.

The grant is towards a project cost of £86,000.

Botany was the passion of Sir Joseph Banks. Around 30,000 specimens were collected on the voyage, the majority of which were plants.

More than 900 were sketched by Sydney Parkinson, the botanical artist, but he died on the return voyage.

Banks then assembled a team of artists and engravers to finish the drawings and create plates ready for printing.

It was not until the 1980s, 200 years later, that Alecto Editions finally printed a limited edition of 743 superb plates.

The museum, on Grape Lane, now plans to allow access to the collection possible and use it as the basis for a creative programme of events, educational workshops and outreach activities.

Sophie Forgan, Chairman of Trustees, said: “We are quite delighted to have received this support from National Lottery players and are excited by the possibility of making the most of this outstanding material.

“It is a marvellous collection which enriches the museum and our community with it.”