The popularity of Doerak, the beloved mascot and honorary student at the University of Groningen, has inspired the University Museum to open an exhibit about other felines affiliated with academic institutions through the years.
The University Museum on the Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat will host a mini exhibit about critters that have been embraced as campus cats around the globe, both living and historic, between Tuesday, 18 November and 6 January, 2019. The museum issued a call for other universities worldwide to share photos of their own campus cats in early December and announced a list of cats that would be part of the exhibit on Thursday. The exhibit will also feature paintings, models and cat skeletons which were once used as teaching tools in academic courses. Visitors to the museum who bring a printed photo of a cat – any cat – will get a 50 percent discount on their admission ticket to the exhibit.
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The museum announced the exhibit in late November and sought photos of other university cats worldwide. The inspiration for the exhibit is Doerak, an affectionate cat who is a frequent visitor of the Harmonie complex in the city center and is often spotted on student’s laps, in their bags and even lounging on desks. OOG TV reports that museum director Arjen Dijkstra says, “Three weeks ago he received his own student card and rightly so! We found this so funny that we decided to set up an exhibition about university cats, because Doerak is definitely not the only one!”
The University Museum opened in 1934 and primarily features scientific exhibits from the university’s academic research history. Renovations are currently being carried out at the museum and the permanent collection will not be fully open to the public again until May 2019. The University Museum has really leaned into the cat theme of late: their bio on Twitter now reads that the museum features “404 years of cats lots of cats and some other stuff”.
We’re making a small exhibition of Campus Cats. Some people think its beyond a University Museum to spend time on cat pictures. We are not those people and will explain why.
— Universiteitsmuseum ?? Groningen (@univmuseum) December 2, 2018
Doerak, a seven-year-old Maine Coon and Persian mix, has become a local Instagram influencer over the course of a few short months: his account has more than 2,500 followers. The affectionate cat became a more regular visitor of the city centre campus this fall, and his owner says that Doerak was likely seeking comfort following the loss of one of the family’s other cats. In addition to Doerak, his owner has two other cats who also have their own Instagram account: The Cheeky Brothers.
Photo source: Instagram/@universitycat