Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery - Material Obsessions

Material Obsessions

British Folk Art in Tunbridge Wells

An exhibition celebrating the Museum’s folk art collections returning from exhibition at Tate Britain and Compton Verney Art Gallery, it will also celebrate the newly invigorated interest in this often unsung artistic genre.

Folk Art is known as “people’s art” or “popular art” but who are these folk artists and what makes their creations art? Material Obsessions explores these questions through extraordinary works from the Museum’s diverse folk art collection.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

A Crimean War quilt (1850 - 1900)

While recovering from their wartime injuries, soldiers were encouraged to keep their hands busy and away from the temptations of alcohol, gambling and women, by sewing military quilts. This rare and intricate quilt was sewn from thousands of pieces of woollen uniform fabric.

George Smart collages (1840)

George Smart was an eccentric folk artist from Frant who created collages from scraps of fabric from his trade as a tailor. The animals and local characters he portrayed were similarly peculiar, such as Old Bright the Postman and the Goose Woman.

Other objects showcased:

Sailor’s love tokens, samplers, a witch’s ball (used to ward off witches) and Gods in bottles.

Exhibition will run from 16 January - 31 May 2015

To see our extensive calendar of Material Obsessions related events, visit the News & Events page.

A Walk on the Wildside
A Walk on the Wildside
A Walk on the Wildside
A Walk on the Wildside