AN EXCITING new exhibition will launch at Reading Museum this month, offering an extraordinary glimpse of art work inspired by the animal kingdom.

ANIMAL: World Art Journeys will deliver a visual treat inspired by the animal world, from lobsters and lions to donkeys with dragons and fabulous birds and beasts.

The free exhibition launches to the public on September 14, and will run until April 18 2020 in the John Madejski Art Gallery.

Drawn from across the collections of Reading Museum, the Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) and Reading people, the show provides something for everyone – from families and art lovers alike.

Visitors will be able to journey through time and around the world, where great art meets great craft.

Guests can see how artists have transformed the animal world into stunning stylised forms such as Peruvian weavings and Javanese batiks and enjoy the work of artists from as far afield as ancient Egypt or nineteenth century Asia to contemporary Britain.

Star objects include a breath-taking 19th century Chinese court robe and the acclaimed 19th Century artist Charles Burton Barbar’s stunning ‘Gelert’ – which illustrates the legendary story of the faithful dog who protected the Welsh King Llywelyn’s infant son from a wolf.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting activity and events programme.

There will be an animal themed half term for children at Reading Museum, as well as talks and events at The MERL.

There may even be animals who escape into the town.

To find out more, visit the website here.

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s lead member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I can’t wait to visit this exciting new animal inspired exhibition at Reading Museum.

"The exhibition offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy art from both Reading Museum and The MERL’s collections.

"There will also be lots of animal themed fun activities available for children over the half term to look forward to, as well as lots of interactive activities in the exhibition itself.

"We are delighted to be drawing on the strength of combined collections and shared expertise to showcase a very special exhibition in the town centre.”

Kate Arnold-Forster, Director of the Museum of English Rural Life said: “This is the second exhibition supported by Museums Partnership Reading where Arts Council England is helping create exciting new collaborative programming for our visitors.”