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


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During the early twentieth century, John Hassall was one of Britain’s best-known and most high-profile artists. Working across a variety of disciplines, he was a prolific book illustrator, a humorous artist for postcards and magazines, an art school founder and teacher, a painter in oils, consummate clubman, and a designer of toys, figurines, pottery and nursery decor. But it was through his commercial illustration for travel companies, political causes, theatre and well-known brands that he made his name in an age when advertising hoardings were known as the, ‘poor man’s art gallery’. Hassall’s natural affinity for poster art, and the popularity of his creations, was to earn him the title, ‘The Poster King’. Employing bold line, flat colours and an engagingly cheery style, Hassall’s designs had immediate impact with many creations, notably his famous, ‘Skegness is SO bracing’ poster, becoming embedded in popular culture. This exhibition seeks to explore key aspects of John Hassall’s work, and to celebrate the life of this extraordinary artist a century on from his heyday.

Here’s a talk by Luci Gosling who curated this exhibition about Hassall’s famous “Jolly Fisherman”:

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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