Fears Foes and Faeries

17 Mar 2012 – 29 Sep 2012

Event times

10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday, including bank holidays

Cost of entry

Under 18s FREE, Adults £2/ Concessions £1.80 or FREE with an Open Return Ticket

Scarborough Art Gallery

Scarborough, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Short walk from Scarbrorough train staion.

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From lucky amulets and ancient superstitions to witches and faeries... we've got it all and much more in the Fears, Foes and Faeries exhibition.


This exhibition is the culmination of a three year project that is part of the Precious Cargos, Stories of the World - one of the key projects of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. It has involved Scarborough Museums Trust working with young people from its youth engagement group Cultiv8; Scarborough Maritime Association and students from Hull University. At the heart of the exhibition is the bizarre and beguiling collection of charms and amulets collected by Scarborough's most curious curator William James Clarke. Clarke's tiny objects collected between 1913 and 1945 ar not only fascinating in themselves but are also key to many tales of folklore and local superstition, some of which are on the verge of being lost to time and others that still survive in some form today. The themes explored by the exhibitoin include, Safety at Sea - exploring the charms and superstitions that helped sailors and fishermen in this dangerous profession, Animal Magic - many animals have been attributed with the most strange skills and belief systems! Witches brew, witches throughout history have been feared and reviled yet we have maintained our fascination with them all the same. Faeries and Faery folk are thought of as delightful if mischievous little friends, though they were often blamed for the unexplainable happenings and so often feared. Also included is a modern day Charmacy - where you can deposit your fears or wishes and be diagnosed with a charm to suit your individual needs based on the historical research of William James Clarke. The exhibition will include many interactive displays to help all ages learn, experience, engage and interact with this fascinating subject.


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