From Kabul to Kandahar: 1833 - 1933
This exhibition provides a unique snapshot of the Society’s collection on Afghanistan. Curated in partnership with British Afghan communities, it provides an alternative picture of Afghanistan to that which may be seen in the prevailing media coverage of this country today.
This exhibition is part of the Crossing Continents: Connecting Communities (PDF) project funded by the HLF, Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation and John Lyons Charity. The exhibition was first shown at the RGS-IBG in 2007.
The Changing Face of the Earth
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the British Society for Geomorphology, the exhibition shows how analysis and understanding of the Earth’s land surface has changed in the 50 years, highlighting some key contributions made by its members.
The Creative Compass
The compass and imagination have been essential tools for geographers, explorers and travellers over the centuries; resulting in maps and illustrations of encounters and discoveries that connect the world’s peoples, places and environments.
In the 21st century, the Society’s Collections of over a million maps and atlases, the earliest dating back 400 years, have provided the starting point for artists Agnès Poitevin-Navarre and Susan Stockwell’s new commissions.
Their engagement with the Society, and its Collections, revealed the map and mapping as a format through which to explore the power, authority and hidden narratives that histories of mapping have produced.
This exhibition and an accompanying programme of talks and workshops was funded by Arts Council England, and took place May-August 2010.
A 32 page illustrated colour exhibition catalogue is available. It features an essay by Dr Harriet Hawkins (University of Exeter) and artist interviews by Paul Goodwin (Goldsmiths College and Tate). £8 plus £1.50 postage and packing (p&p) per copy.
Email us or call +44 (0)20 7591 3052 to order your copy.
Hidden Histories of Exploration
Hidden Histories of Exploration reveals the contribution of people such as Juan Tepano, Mohammed Jen Jamain, Sidi Mubarak Bombay, Nain Singh and Pedro Caripoco to the history of exploration. Find out about their role and its lasting significance, as illustrated in the paintings, books, maps photographs, artefacts and manuscripts of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
Materials from Africa, Asia, the Arctic and the Americas are respresented, with highlights including paintings by Thomas Baines, Catherine Frere's sketches of women on an African expedition, and film from the 1922 Everest expedition.
An online exhibition, related research and education resources can be viewed on the Hidden Histories website.
The exhibition took place at the Society between October and December 2009.
Fashioning Diaspora Space: Moving Patterns
Moving Patterns was an artists' installation at the Royal Geographical Society shown from 7–21 May 2009.
The work bore witness to the way in which pattern and ornament are laden with meaning and memory in both colonial and post-colonial times. It was produced by Helen Scalway, a visual artist based in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, as part of a large, long term interdisciplinary project, ‘Fashioning Diaspora Space’, with the Victoria & Albert Museum, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Read Helen's blog written during the Fashioning Diaspora Space project and Moving Patterns exhibition.
View a gallery of the exhibition or watch a video of its installation
Sculptor Simeon Nelson joined the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) as its first-ever artist in residence for a project entitled 'Cryptosphere'.
His fifteen month residency, curated by the Parabola Trust, investigated the Society's unique map collection which dates back to the 15th Century. His research focused on maps that consider mythical places as physical locations, as well as the evolution of Western cartography and the shifting philosophical and global perspectives of the past 1,000 years.
He describes the ‘Cryptosphere’ as, ‘the sum of all withheld and hidden information in a given system’ and his responses to complex mapping methodologies were seen through the creation of a new body of work that was exhibited at the Society from 4 April-9 May 2008.
A publication, produced by Parabola, accompanied the residency with texts from Dr Denis Alexander, Professor Denis Cosgrove, Dr Alessandro Scafi, Rebecca Geldard. The book can be purchased online.