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See Heath Robinson’s most popular work along with that of other artists, all themed on fairies and elves.

The most popular work in the Museum’s collection is a painting called ‘The Fairy’s Birthday’ and the finest examples of Heath Robinson’s illustrative work are the drawings that he made in 1914 to illustrate ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. These works from the Museum’s collection will be the centrepiece of an exhibition that traces the different ways in which fairies and elves have been portrayed from the early Victorian period to the recent past.

The Heath Robinson pictures will be complemented by examples by the foremost Victorian fairy artist Richard Doyle and his brother Charles Altamont Doyle. From the turn of the century will be illustrations by Charles Robinson and Arthur Rackham while from the inter-war years will be examples by Florence Mary Anderson, Helen Jacobs and Margaret Tarrant. There will also be eight of the original watercolours for the Flower Fairy books by Cicely Mary Barker. More recent works will include an original cel from Walt Disney’s film of Peter Pan and two watercolours by Brian Froud.

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Permanent Exhibition

Our permanent Heath Robinson exhibition combines original artwork with books, photographs, film & digital media to tell the full story of Heath Robinson’s artistic career.

30 Mar - 23 Jun

Heath Robinson’s Illustrations for magazines, 1925 to 1936

With the start of the Second World War in 1914 Heath Robinson observed that “There was now no demand for purely artistic productions, for new editions of Shakespeare or other classics”. He was then dependent on humorous work for his income. However, from about 1925 respite from the constant need to be funny came from time to time with commissions to provide serious illustrations to short stories and articles in Nash’s Pall Mall Magazine and its sister publication Good Housekeeping.…

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