The exhibition considers how illustrators of different generations have chosen key moments in stories from European folklore and fiction, and brought these child heroes to life.
Original drawings, first editions and special illustrated editions will be on display, featuring characters as diverse as James Trotter (James and the Giant Peach) who was orphaned as a young boy, Hetty Feather, who lived at the Foundling Hospital, and Rapunzel, whose parents gave her up as a child. Two original illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert for the 1961 edition of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach will be exhibited, alongside Arthur Rackham’s original 1919 drawing of Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother. Major illustrators and artists whose work will be on display include Quentin Blake, George Cruikshank, David Hockney, Phiz (Hablot K. Browne), Arthur Rackham, Thomas Rowlandson, Nick Sharratt and Stref.
To accompany the loaned works, the contemporary artists Pablo Bronstein, Chris Haughton and Posy Simmonds have been invited to produce a new illustration for Henry Fielding’s novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling, first published in 1749.