Arts and Heritage

Collections

The collection at The Amelia was founded by the Tunbridge Wells Natural History and Philosophical Society in 1885. The Society established our first town museum at the Literary and Scientific Society’s rooms on the Pantiles.

The Council adopted the collection in 1918. Amelia Scott was a supporter of a municipal museum and library and believed it was ‘a necessity that cannot be postponed indefinitely’.

We have a long history of collecting and engagement with the local community. The Amelia’s collection reflects many aspects of the story of Tunbridge Wells and the High Weald.  We care for around 60,000 objects covering local history, natural history, archaeology, fine and decorative arts, and social history.

Whilst our building is closed for redevelopment some collections are displayed in the Library’s temporary premises at Royal Victoria Place shopping centre (level 1, opposite Fenwick). Displays explore the themes of the High Weald, Subbuteo, scientific and political innovation, and Tunbridge Wells as the first holiday resort.

Despite the building being closed to the public, our teams are very busy behind the scenes – researching, writing, photographing, engaging with schools and communities across the borough. To see where you can catch them now, visit the What’s On page.

 

Artists’ Commissions

During the Amelia project, a number of artists will be commissioned to enhance the building and help us see our collections in a new way. Information about these commissions, as it becomes available, can be found below:

 

A Mirror for Remembering, by Alex May

‘A Mirror for Remembering’ is a new virtual reality artwork by Alex May exploring the preservation of digital artefacts. The commission was made possible through the generous support of the Arts Council England funded Kent Medway Museums National Portfolio Organisation and utilises the extensive collections held by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Click here for information about ‘A Mirror for Remembering’

Digital reconstruction of the Riggs Dolls house by Alex May

 

Minnie the Lu Lu Terrier in a Tunbridge ware display case