Free
Exhibitions

Dirt: The filthy reality of everyday life

Past
  • Exhibition
Brains: The Mind as Matter exhibition, Benjamin Gilbert. Source: Wellcome Collection. CC BY-NC.

‘Dirt’ explored the fascinating world of filth – one of our very last taboos.

Bringing together some 200 artefacts spanning visual art, photography, cultural ephemera, scientific artefacts, film and literature, the exhibition uncovered a rich history of disgust and delight in the grimy truths and dirty secrets of our past. Visitors explored six very different locations to reveal attitudes towards dirt and cleanliness: a home in 17th-century Delft in Holland, a street in Victorian London, a hospital in Glasgow in the 1860s, a museum in Dresden in the early 20th century, a community in present-day New Delhi and a New York landfill site in 2030.