Birds of a Feather: get creative in the gallery

Looking for a free way to entertain your children? Gallery assistant Martina Bellotto shows how Hove Museum’s Birds of a Feather exhibition can bring art and natural history together to provide a source of creative inspiration.



For kids, what makes the museum experience a good experience? Using their imagination and creativity and learning by doing! At Hove Museum we have created resources for children that involve them during their visit in the galleries and especially for the exhibition Birds of a Feather (21 May-29 November, free admission).

The exhibition is a display of illustrations, paintings, books and birds, all taken from the collection of the Booth Museum of Natural History in Brighton.

Taking inspiration from what is exhibited in the gallery children can have fun and make their own bird. All the family can actually take part in drawing, colouring, cutting and sticking!

Our activities:


Birds can have the most various and amazing colours. Choose a drawing from the ones we prepared and colour it using your imagination or taking inspiration from the birds you can see in the exhibition.

There is a paper sheet covered by straight lines on which you can see little coloured birds. Only one line is not straight and has no birds on it…draw your personal big bird on this curved wire! Make your bird as exotic as you can.

Follow the drawing instructions and draw yourself a bird! You can start with the easiest and end with the most detailed. Use the crayons to colour in it.

Cut, stick and colour a bird following the example. Or use your own imagination! This time we’ve prepared pieces of coloured cellophane for you to use.


You can also have fun in assembling the puzzles on the magnetic board. Each puzzle is of one of the illustrations contained in the volume Birds of America!


With a few materials and some imagination, you can turn your next Hove Museum visit into an artistic adventure. Spark your creativity with these gallery-friendly activities!

About the exhibition:

Edward Thomas Booth (1840-1890), the creator of the museum, was an ornithologist with the ambition to collect and exhibit one example of each British bird species. He especially wanted to display them in their natural habitat and for that reason he created dioramas (three-dimensional miniature or life size scene in which figures are arranged in a naturalistic setting) and showed not only the appearance of the birds, but also their characteristics through the way they were posed.


Ornithologists were very keen to not only identify the different species, but also to understand their characteristics and habitat, so birds were studied extensively in their natural environments. Illustrations of birds grew in popularity in the 19th Century and works created in ink, watercolour, chalk and other media were used for books (both scientific and for the public), but many were also intended as works of art in their own right.

Come along to see these wonderful illustrations and some rare examples of life-size colour images contained in the limited edition of the book Birds of America printed in 1972. Enjoy the beauty of the species, the variety of anatomic details and plumage in these natural-looking illustrations and in real models of birds.

Hove Museum is open Monday to Saturday 10 am-5pm / Sunday 2-5 pm.
Closed on Wednesdays.

Martina Bellotto, Hove Museum assistant

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