Great Indian Hornbill (Buceros Bicornis)

A collection of natural history images by artist Jim Naughten are brought to three-dimensional life in an Animal Kingdom exhibition, which is currently showing at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London.

Suitable for all students over the age of six, Animal Kingdom is showing at Gallery Square until 6th March, and is free for school groups to visit.

A school trip to the exhibition can tie in with History – with regards to the fossilised nature of the image content – and Science. The exhibition specimens have all been used for study and display purposes over many years by scientists, and by using the interactive process of studying these specimens with the stereoscopic viewer, pupils visiting are given the opportunity to contemplate and study them in great detail.

For older students, Photography can also be tied in a subject study, as the three-dimensional aspect of the images is created through stereoscopic techniques.

The display features 11 pairs of photographs of mounted skeletons and wet specimens including a great Indian hornbill, an Atlantic white spotted octopus, a red faced spider monkey and a transparent chameleon.

Each set is photographed from a right-eye and left-eye perspective which, when viewed with a stereoscopic viewer, gives the illusion of being three-dimensional.

Stereoscopy is a technique developed in the 1800s to create the illusion of viewing images in three dimensions. Also known as 3D photography, it is the art of capturing and displaying of two slightly offset photographs to create three dimensional images.

Jim Naughten

For Animal Kingdom, Naughten spent a year engaging with collections including those of the Grant Museum of Zoology, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the University of Reading’s Cole Museum of Zoology, the Powell-Cotton Museum and the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Naughten is a photographic artist currently exploring themes that include historical subject matter.

School trip information

In addition to Animal Kingdom, teachers can choose from additional exhibitions, both permanent and temporary, to visit at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

You can also book interactive curriculum-linked sessions with learning officers for other subjects including English, Geography and Music. 

For further information call 020-8291 8686 or visit

Photo credit: Jim Naughten.