Himalayan Bird Case

The case of Himalayan birds at the top of the north staircase is one of my favourite in the University Museum. The birds were collected during the first half of the nineteenth century and donated to the Museum in 1926.

Many years ago, when walking in the Nepalese foothills, I had a brief, but vivid view of bright flashes of blue and gold as a Himalayan Monal or Impayen Pheasant scuttled nervously into the undergrowth and out of sight. Being able to look at the specimens in this case at close quarters to see clearly their amazing colours and feather patterns is a real joy and education - the nearest I can get to this beautiful, shy bird.

The Museum contains many other examples of colours and patterns, which illustrate my love of art in nature, as seen in the insect and gem cases and the polished rock columns around the court. Part of my job here is to hire out areas of the Museum for conferences, lectures, and receptions, including a fashion photo shoot in front of the Himalayan birds! [Tatler, March 2010]

Kristin Andrews-Speed, Assistant to the Administrator