We are delighted to announce that Geoffrey Beare will deliver our next Expert Talk ‘The Humour of William Heath Robinson’.
The talk will explain how this serious artist and illustrator turned to humour to fill a gap in his income and how it came to be his primary source of income. It will track the way his style of humour developed from satires of symbolist painting through absurd and surreal scenes of daily life. During two World Wars he deployed irony and satire to counter German propaganda and to bring a little mirth into the otherwise painful lives of servicemen and civilians. Both greatly appreciated his efforts. A similar dry humour was used to satirise the pomposity and fussiness of those who took themselves too seriously. He was modest and gentle, qualities that shine through in his humour.
Although he was dubbed ‘The Gadget King’ the primary subject matter for Heath Robinson’s humorous work was not gadgets and contraptions, but the human condition, the workings of fate and the weakness and self-importance of man.
Geoffrey Beare is Collections and Exhibitions Manager at the Heath Robinson Museum. He is chairman of the Imaginative Book Illustration Society (IBIS) and edits and designs the Society’s publications. He is curator of the current exhibition.
There will be a reception with drinks and nibbles in the Museum from 6:30pm. The talk will start at 7pm in the Verden Gallery. The Museum galleries and shop will be open during the reception and again after the talk until 8.30pm to give those attending an opportunity to enjoy the exhibitions.