9 Sep 2017 at 12:00 am - 26 Nov 2017 at 12:00 am

Visualising “The Water-Babies”

New Special Exhibition features illustrations from the Reverend Charles Kingsley’s classic novel “The Water-Babies”. For our Autumn 2017 Special Exhibition, we focus on illustrations created for the classic Victorian novel “The Water-Babies”.  Written by the Reverend Charles Kingsley for his son, this extraordinary fable – sub-titled “A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby” – first...
2 Dec 2017 at 12:00 am - 18 Feb 2018 at 12:00 am

Heath Robinson’s World of Advertising

See Heath Robinson’s drawings for well-known and not-so-well-known brands. With his trademark depiction of convoluted but highly ‘outcome-focused’ contraptions, William Heath Robinson – renowned artist, illustrator and humourist – was also a consummate ‘ad man’. In the early 20th century, he was one of the pioneering artists who rewrote the rules on how we communicate...
24 Feb 2018 at 12:00 am - 20 May 2018 at 12:00 am

Neo-Romantic Book Illustration in Britain 1943 – 1955

Neo-Romanticism was an art movement that drew inspiration partly from the landscapes of Samuel Palmer and the illustrations of William Blake, but also from more recent art movements such as cubism. It focused on the emotional content of the work, prioritising content over form. Our exhibition is about the Neo-Romantic Period in illustration, which came…

26 May 2018 at 12:00 am - 19 Aug 2018 at 12:00 am

A Curious Turn: Moving, Mechanical Sculpture

A Crafts Council Touring Exhibition A Curious Turn is an exhibition of automata. Automata are sculptures which are brought magically to life through a sequence of cogs, cams, cranks and levers. For centuries they have delighted and bewitched people. A Curious Turn features automata from the leading makers of the last 40 years, ranging from…

25 Aug 2018 at 12:00 am - 18 Nov 2018 at 12:00 am

Peter Pan and Other Lost Children

The exhibition will feature two very talented Edwardian female illustrators whose work has been largely forgotten. Alice Bolingbroke Woodward was the first illustrator of the story of Peter Pan. She illustrated many books for Blackie & Sons and for George Bell between 1895 and the 1930s including a new edition of Alice in Wonderland. The...
24 Nov 2018 at 12:00 am - 24 Feb 2019 at 12:00 am

Heath Robinson’s Home Life

The following clip shows an interview with Geoffrey Beare on Uxbridge FM (the interview starts approximately 5 minutes 25 seconds in): From about 1930 onwards Heath Robinson’s humour was centred on domestic life. In 1934 his house “The Gadgets” was constructed at the Ideal Home Exhibition, and in 1936 How to Live in a Flat, the…

2 Mar 2019 at 12:00 am - 19 May 2019 at 12:00 am

The Beardsley Generation

What inspired The Beardsley Generation? The exhibition will explore the impact that new photographic means of reproduction (process engraving) at the end of the 19th Century had on illustration. Older artists who had relied on the craft wood-engraver to work up their sketches for publication were swept aside and a new generation of artists, well...
25 May 2019 at 12:00 am - 1 Sep 2019 at 12:00 am

Tim Lewis: Post Nature

One of the most popular exhibits in ‘A Curious Turn’, our recent automata show, was ‘Mule Make Mule’ by Tim Lewis. This new exhibition will feature a number of Tim’s larger automata and kinetic sculptures selected by the artist and displayed in settings designed by him. Lewis’s sculptures include a variety of machines that react…

7 Sep 2019 at 12:00 am - 24 Nov 2019 at 12:00 am

Heath Robinson Watercolours

See Heath Robinson’s unpublished watercolours, many never exhibited before. Heath Robinson trained as an artist at the Royal Academy Schools and always saw himself as an artist. He earned his living as an illustrator and cartoonist, but he would spend much of the limited spare time he had either drawing or painting in watercolours. He…

30 Nov 2019 at 12:00 am - 23 Feb 2020 at 12:00 am

Fairies in Illustration

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...
1 Mar 2020 - 28 Mar 2021

Charles Keeping: Londoner & Illustrator

Charles Keeping, one of the most influential of modern British book illustrators, died in 1988. Our exhibition celebrates his life and work. Keeping was a Londoner through and through, and his childhood in Lambeth provided him with an endlessly rich stock of images to draw on throughout his working life. But his vision was universal,…

22 May 2021 - 29 Aug 2021

John Hassall: Illustrator and Poster Artist

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...

4 Sep 2021 – 9 Jan 2022

Korky Paul’s Magic of Illustration (with a Flying Visit from Winnie and Wilbur)

Korky Paul has enjoyed outstanding international success as an award-winning illustrator of children’s books, producing many instantly recognisable and popular characters, such as Winnie the Witch, The Fish Who Could Wish, Professor Puffendorf and Sir Scallywag. The Winnie and Wilbur series of picture books written by Valerie Thomas and the fiction or chapter books written...

15 Jan 2022 – 15 May 2022

Heath Robinson’s Children’s Stories

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...
21 May 2022 - 4 Sep 2022

The Humour of William Heath Robinson

The 31st May 2022 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Heath Robinson. He was trained as an artist at the Royal Academy Schools, and as past exhibitions at the Museum have shown, he was a great illustrator and a highly accomplished painter in watercolours, but it is as a humorous artist…

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.

25 Mar 2023 at 8:00 am - 18 Jun 2023 at 5:00 pm

Hidden Treasures

Pictures from an exceptional private collection

23 Sep 2023 - 7 Jan 2024

Illustrating the Grotesque

Acidic, bawdy, grotesque. Heath Robinson’s illustrations for Rabelais explore a dark and dramatic part of his practice, characterised by expressive linework and grim subjects. See them alongside Goya’s Los Caprichos; experimental etchings portraying beasts, scoundrels and a society in ruin.

30 Mar - 21 Jun

Modernist Magazine Illustration

The cartoonist turns his hand to magazine illustration! Explore Heath Robinson’s art for literary magazine covers, articles, and stories in this exhibition of a lesser known part of his work, produced throughout the 1920s and 30s.

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