Wisbech and Fenland Museum
Wisbech & Fenland Museum is one of the oldest purpose-built museums in the country. The original Museum Society was formed in 1835, and the present building dates from 1847. The well-preserved Museum interior enables visitors to step back in time to the heyday of the Victorian museum.
The Hudson Wing addition offers a diverse range temporary exhibitions and a full range of education facilities. Disabled access to all main Museum areas is available via the side entrance and lift.
Wisbech and Fenland Museum is one of the oldest purpose-built museums in the country. Its collections reflect the enthusiasms and interests of the Museum Society’s members during the nineteenth century and include geology; zoology; archaeology (Near East, Classical and local); fine and applied art; paintings; local history; personalia and extensive and important photographic collections. Wisbech and Fenland Museum also houses an important library (formerly The Wisbech Literary Society) with literary archives (the manuscript of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations), maps and books (the 17th century Wisbech Town Library) and is the diocesan repository for local parish records.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Land Transport, Maritime, Medicine, Music, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History
- 31 January 2007 — 28 January 2020 *on now
Wisbech is the home town of slavery abolitionist Thomas Clarkson and the Museum holds documents, letters, books and artefacts relating to his work which are displayed in this permanent exhibition. The most important of these is his chest which contains examples of 18th century African textiles, seeds and leatherwork. These were used to illustrate his case for direct trade with Africa. The chest also contained chains and manacles which give an insight into the appalling treatment of the enslaved Africans.
- Any age
Crowded Room Wisbech
- 26 November 2017 — 28 February 2018 *on now
Crowded Room by Tim Mann
The ‘Crowded Room - Wisbech' project has been a truly collaborative process which uses contemporary art practice to celebrate the importance of the individual and their place in the community.
Tim Mann is a professional visual artist who works almost exclusively with the figure to celebrate the human. Having trained at Norwich School of Art, he has worked both in the UK and overseas for the last 28 years. Tim has delivered the ‘Crowded Room’ projects in locations around the UK and Ireland. He uses different aspects of the human form to record an individual’s presence within a large-scale portrait. The resulting work of art demonstrates that whilst each participant is different, in terms of appearance and character, as humans we are all integral to the world and are fundamentally all the same.
The ‘Crowded Room Wisbech’ project has taken twenty days to complete, over six weeks during the autumn of 2017. Tim has worked with over thirty organisations and staged public events exploring and discussing art practice and encouraging individuals to form a contemporary portrait of the town. People who live, work or study in Wisbech, as well as visitors to the town, have taken part with Tim.
The final portrait features 10,017 people and tells a story about a moment in time in Wisbech.
For him, the human figure and the self are the most enduring themes in the visual arts. Tim works within communities and engages collaboratively with the subjects who appear in his work. When he takes the individual as a whole, using the full figure as evidence of its presence, the overlapping outlines form a linear pattern produced by the uniqueness of each subject.
These large communities of lines celebrate humanity, through individuality and unity Sometimes he will focus on smaller elements of identity, for example fingerprints, hands, templates, markers, names or signatures. These works often take on an abstract element, and the artistic aesthetic is achieved by the arrangement of these various components. These markers are used as a reference to identify and celebrate the human presence.
Tim works almost exclusively with the figure. His work is not about the glory of the human form, it is more about being human. He celebrates their existence and their visible spiritual presence. Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. His focus is on himself as an individual and how individuals connect within different groups
- Any age
- 7 March 2018 2-4pm
The Friends of Wisbech and Fenland Museum invite you to attend the last in a series of 3 lectures by Dr Michael Gilbert on Medieval Wisbech.
Surviving the 14th Century.
What was life like in Wisbech at the end of the middles ages?
At a time when generally towns in England were in decline, how did Wisbech fare?
The unique records held by the Wisbech and Fenland Museum give an insight into who lived in the town, how they were governed and how they earned a living.
This talk will bring to life the people and places of this important fifteenth Century Fenland town.
Services and facilities
£3.00 Tickets are available to purchase in advance from Wisbech & Fenland Museum
Wisbech and Fenland Museum