Major Percy Horace GordonPowell Cotton (1866-1940) wasborn in Margate. He waseducated at home and privatelyand joined the NorthumberlandFusiliers militia in 1886.In 1889 he set off on his ‘Roundthe World Trip’, travellingthrough Europe and Egypt, thengoing on to India and Kashmir.
He began as a hunter butbecame a collector of naturalhistory specimens, which meansthat he was very selective.His ambition was to collectexamples of every large Africanmammal and he made 27collecting trips there in his effortto do so.The museum at Quex is a resultof his vision of how to show whathe saw to the world. He createdwonderful dioramas, full ofaction and colour, at a time whenthe only alternative was grainyblack and white photographs.
Percy Powell Cotton was alsointerested in the people of thecountries he travelled in. From hisearliest travels he brought backexamples of crafts and costume.His family followed his example. Hisdaughters Diana and Antoinette madetwo expeditions to Angola in 1936 and1937. This is one of their photographs.The museum has thousands of itemsof ethnography, some are displayed inthe galleries.