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Entry to the Special Exhibition is included with your museum entry ticket.


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The exhibition will show artwork from the children’s stories that Heath Robinson both wrote and illustrated. See the first signs of his inventive talents and meet a cast of strange and mysterious characters.

In 1902 Heath Robinson was commissioned by Grant Richards to write and illustrate a new children’s book and he took the episodic structure of Don Quixote as his model, with the hero embarking on a quest and each chapter introducing new characters.  The book was The Adventures of Uncle Lubin.

In 1899 he had been one of the illustrators of a new edition of The Arabian Night’s Entertainments published in parts by George Newnes. When asked for a follow up book to Uncle Lubin he chose to write and illustrate versions of 12 of the tales adapted for young children.  The Child’s Arabian Nights was published by Grant Richards in 1903.

From 1908 Heath Robinson was illustrating de luxe gift books full of coloured plates. Typical titles were Twelfth Night and Kipling’s Poems. However, in 1912 he wanted to see another children’s book that he had both written and illustrated in print. He turned to Constable & Co. who published Bill the Minder in 1912 in gift book format.

The fourth and last children’s book that he wrote was Peter Quip in Search of a Friend, another episodic story with the cast of characters that grew with each chapter. It was published by Partridge & Co. in 1922. However, in December 1915 Pearson’s Magazine had published a children’s story called ‘Biddulph: The Tale of a Magic Pool’ which he both wrote and illustrated.

14 Dec 2016 - 14 Dec 3020

Permanent Exhibition

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

10 Sep 2022 - 11 Dec 2022

Scene Through Wood

‘Scene through Wood’ offers a visual feast of the finest wood engravings of the past 100 years, and celebrates the extraordinary artists, past and present, who made them. Curated by engraver and artist Anne Desmet RA RE, this exhibition from the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum — home to one of the most extensive collections...
29 Dec 2022 - 19 Mar 2023

Heath Robinson’s Shakespeare Illustrations

Throughout his career Shakespeare’s plays, and especially the songs within them, provided a source of inspiration for some of Heath Robinson’s most popular and successful illustrations.

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