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Nautilus: Beautiful Survivor - 500 million years of evolutionary history

Extended to 30 May 2017

The Chambered Nautilus is one of the oldest living things on our planet. Since the dawn of civilisation its form has inspired artists, designers and architects. Nautilus has survived whatever the world has thrown at it for more than 500 million years, persisting even as dinosaurs and many other life forms vanished. Now, however, some believe it could become extinct within a generation.

Merrily Harpur

Tea Room Exhibition: 16 January - 1 April 2017

Though best known as a cartoonist, illustrator and writer, Merrily Harpur has always been a secret painter. When she moved to Cattistock this became her full time job.

She mainly paints landscapes in oils, usually en plein air, and occasionally makes linocut prints. She writes: ‘The countryside of Dorset means a great deal to me, and in my paintings I try to show why’.

DCM / Jonathan Gooding © 2014

Katherine Hardy's Dress

Dorset County Museum’s textile archive includes a significant collection of clothing originally owned by Thomas Hardy’s family. Among the pieces is a stunning red bustle dress worn by his sister Katharine.

Until now most of the collection has remained in storage but a generous grant from the Daphne Bullard Trust has enabled the dress to be specially prepared and placed on display in the Museum’s Writers Gallery.


Wessex Museums Spotlight Loan Tour

For the next twelve months five leading museums of the Wessex Museums Partnership Dorset County Museum, Poole Museum, Russel-Cotes Gallery and Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum will be sharing the story of Wessex in the wider world by showcasing an artefact from their own outstanding collections to the other partner museums.

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Swanage Crocodile

A 140 million year old crocodile found on the Jurassic Coast is now on display at the museum's Jurassic Coast Gallery.