Mammoth carving in mammoth ivory. Manchester Museum © Paul Cliff.
MANCHESTER.- Manchester Museum’s exhibition ‘Siberia: At the Edge of the World’ combines stunning artefacts, rare objects and photographs. This is the first UK show on Siberia, and reveals a surprisingly rich and varied picture of this vast, diverse and little known territory. The exhibition includes works from major museums in the UK and Russia, alongside those from Manchester Museum’s collection.
Masha the baby mammoth © Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg
Taxidermy from Siberia are on show, including a brown bear which Manchester Museum has recently bought from Russia for its collection and which is being shown for the first time, as well as reindeer, wolverine and some rare Siberia birds.
Siberian Brown Bear, Manchester Museum © Paul Cliff
The exhibition gives a fascinating insight into the landscape, natural world and people of this little visited area, with sections on life from the Artic Circle to the wilds of the Taiga Forest and the grassy plains of the Steppes, reflecting a vast area where the climate veers between -50°C in the Siberian winter to summers as hot as +40°C. Hunting, fishing and the every day life of the Siberian people are explored through objects and portraits.
Ross’s Gull (Rhodostethia rosea). Manchester Museum. ©Paul Cliff
The exhibition shows how the size, geographical position and rich natural resources of Siberia has shaped Russian national identity. Unique folklore has evolved over time, enriched by the ancient traditions of Siberia’s indigenous people and the rich mix of cultures and religions in the area. Siberia’s notorious past as a place where criminals, prisoners of war and political convicts were exiled is also featured through photographs and paintings.
Male Walrus Skull, Manchester Museum Manchester Museum. ©Paul Cliff
The exhibition is curated by Dr Dmitri Logunov, Curator of Arthropods at Manchester Museum and Dr David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Science Collections at Manchester Museum.
Mammoth tusk showing its internal structure, Manchester Museum © Paul Cliff
Dr Logunov said: “We are really excited to bring the marvels of Siberia to the UK for the first time. Collaborating with museums from Russia has been a great opportunity to look beyond the stereotypical view and reveal the true Siberia.”
Holy Tree, Baikal Lake, Olkhorn Island, Shamanka Rock, ©Konstantin Dvornikov (Tomsk, Russia)
Dr Nick Merriman, Director of Manchester Museum said: “This is a very special exhibition. It is the first time Siberian culture and environment has been on show in the UK and it includes some rare items. This exhibition really shows the diversity of Siberia and is a fascinating insight into an area and cultures we haven’t seen before.”