Natural History Society Northumbria

Animation on the life and legacy of John Hancock

Anyone who’s grown up in the Newcastle will at some point in their lives surely have visited the Great North Museum: Hancock, known as the Hancock Museum up until its renovation and re-opening in 2009. However, many visitors to the museum may be unaware what or who Hancock actually was? To help remedy this Roots & Wings was asked by the Natural History Society Northumbria (NHSN) and GNM to produce an animation to provide museum-goers with a little bit of historical background about Hancock’s… that is, John Hancock’s, life and legacy.

John Hancock was a keen ornithologist and accomplished taxidermist gathering all manner of specimens from around the world in his lifetime, most of which he left to the museum after his death and many of which remain on display to this day. Our animation was created to sit in the museum alongside one of Hancock’s most well-known pieces of taxidermy, The Struggle With The Quarry (1851), a dramatic work depicting a life and death struggle between a falcon and a heron.

Hopefully the animation, beautifully rendered in watercolour, will help bring Hancock’s remarkable story to life and inspire a new generation of naturalists to join the NHSN!