29 November 2023 – 2 June 2024

Co-curated by our Connections Through Collections group, this thoughtful display explores the tensions many local residents experience living in Cambridgeshire today.

Bringing together 20 objects chosen from our collection, Tensions of Belonging reflects on the divide between poverty and wealth and the idea of ‘town and gown’—the disconnect between local inhabitants and staff and students of University of Cambridge. The objects in this unique, interactive display also consider wider global themes of identity, belonging and the climate crisis.

‘The Connections project feels like a welcome step by the Fitzwilliam to bring in community members to help break down the many barriers that can prevent people from accessing Cambridge’s museums and art institutions.’ – Jade, CTC group member

Each of the artworks and objects were carefully chosen by the group’s ten members and range from historic artefacts—such as the silver trowel used to lay the Fitzwilliam Museum’s foundation stone in 1837—to contemporary artworks including a piece by American ceramic artist and performer Shawanda Corbett.

‘I chose two objects. Actually two objects chose me… Shawanda Corbett is not just a brilliantly creative person, she is not just any one thing. She is in every way remarkable and completely inspirational.’ – Rick, CTC group member.

Discover more about the Connections Through Collections group.

The curators of the display are: Anasuya, Isaac, Jade, Jacqui, Kath, Rick, Rob, Sue, Susan and Tim.

Image: Mina’i Ware bowl, c.1170-1220, made in Kashan, Iran. Purchased with the Glaisher Fund, C.129-1935; Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum, C.9-1923

Design credit: Wolfe Hall.