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Close-up image of a book spine labelled 'ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES. DARWIN. LONDON. JOHN MURRAY'

The Darwin exhibition was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 10 December 2008 to 29 March 2009.

Charles Darwin must surely stand as one of the most influential figures of the past 200 years. His theory of evolution is popularly accepted as explaining the origin and forms of modern life on Earth. In 2009 the world celebrated the 200th birthday of this great thinker. It also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

The National Museum of Australia was proud to mark this international celebratory year by hosting a major exhibition, Darwin, developed by the American Museum of Natural History, and its own accompanying exhibition, Darwin and Australia.

For 21 years he kept his theory secret. Discover the man and the revolutionary theory that changed the world.

Darwin illuminated the life of the iconic naturalist, geologist, and thinker, whose extraordinary ideas on evolution by natural selection were a critical turning point for science and culture and continue to be revolutionary more than a century after the publication of On the Origin of Species (1859).

Through artefacts, documents, film, interactive media, live animals and plants, as well as Darwin's own personal items, this landmark international exhibition offered visitors a unique glimpse into Darwin's intellectual and personal world and the experiences that first led him to formulate his groundbreaking theories.

Darwin was based on an exhibition organised by the American Museum of Natural History, New York ( in collaboration with the Museum of Science, Boston; The Field Museum, Chicago; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; and the Natural History Museum, London. Presented in conjunction with Art Exhibitions Australia.

Left: Spine of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. Copyright © English Heritage Photo Library

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