News - Colour and Vision


This summer, the Natural History Museum explores nature’s palette in its Colour and Vision exhibition...

Sponsored by LG OLED 4K TV, the exhibition takes a 565 million year journey through the eyes of nature with hundreds of rarely displayed specimens, immersive art and digital imaging.

The exhibition gives insight into why humans and other animals perceive the world differently and how colour-shifters and stealth experts deploy colour to survive.

Striking birds, metallic beetles and iridescent butterflies show structural colour and pigments that inspire the latest dyes. Extraordinary fossils show the first creatures to have image-forming eyes and rare examples of colour preserved over millions of years.

Dr Greg Edgecombe, vision evolution researcher at the Museum said, ‘Colour is so fundamental to the way we see the world that it is hard to imagine life without it, but that world exists for many animals – even for some that have eyes that can form an image. Museum scientists use the fossil record and genetic tools to document the earliest eyes, reconstruct the evolution of colour vision, and learn about the genes that produce pigments.’

The wide diversity of vertebrate sight is celebrated in a Wall of Eyes, which combines striking photography with more than 100 eyeballs from across the animal kingdom, a selection from the National Eye Collection behind the scenes. Three LG OLED 4K TV screens will display images of the human eye, including shots submitted through social media using #MyEye.

Other highlights include:
  • - Nature’s finest examples of structural colour and iridescence, from jewel beetles, butterflies and birds to fish, reptiles and shells, all displayed in a five metre tall tower of specimens celebrating Earth’s amazing variety of colour. 
  • - Our Spectral Vision, a light installation by Liz West. Rays of light from every colour of the rainbow will beam through seven prisms made from special colour filter glass as you step into the exhibition.
  • - Videos of scientists and artists talking about the influence colour and vision has had on their lives, inviting you to reflect on your own relationship with colour.

Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum said, ‘The evolution of the eye was the classic challenge to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and this exhibition reveals the pioneering work in evolutionary biology driven by that challenge. The linked evolution of colour and sight has a fundamental impact on the survival and diversity of life on Earth and influences the world humans create, from design and fashion, even through to our choice of mates. Evolution doesn’t just tell us about the past - it tells us about ourselves and our future.’

Dawn Stockell, Head of Brand at LG Electronics UK added, ‘LG OLED 4K TV is very proud to be partnering with the Natural History Museum for its Colour and Vision exhibition. Only OLED technology can truly display perfect blacks and true to life colours and LG is really proud that our screens are delivering the beautiful, unique content of the natural world in such a world-renowned institution.’

Watch the story of Liz West's art installation below in which we meet the artist invited to create a light installation for the exhibition and learn how Museum specimens inspired her.



The exhibition is on until 6th November. For more information and to book tickets, please visit the website.

Image - Natural History Museum