The British Art of Illustration 1880-2017
The exhibition celebrates the wealth of talent among illustrators of the last two centuries, from the ‘grandfather of British illustration’, Phil May, to the recent cartoonists, John Glashan and Mark Boxer. A special feature rehearses the entire period through designs for book covers and title pages, including work by Margaret Tarrant, Eric Fraser and the contemporary, Sara Midda.
The show contains over 70 artists, including
Anne Anderson • Honor Appleton • Edward Ardizzone • Mabel Lucie Attwell
S R Badmin • Fred Banbery • H M Bateman • Max Beerbohm • Nicolas Bentley
Mark Boxer • John Burningham • Emma Chichester Clark • Edmund Dulac
George Du Maurier • Rowland Emett • Fougasse • André François • Eric Fraser
Harold Gaze • Roy Gerrard • Charles Dana Gibson • John Glashan • Amanda Hall
Roy Hammond • Florence Harrison • John Hassall • Cyril Walter Hodges
Gerard Hoffnung • Helen Jacobs • Oliver Jeffers • Lynton Lamb • Alan Lee
Alastair K Macdonald • Phil May • Sara Midda • John Morton-Sale • Pont
Arthur Rackham • Charles Robinson • William Heath Robinson • Ronald Searle
E H Shepard • Sidney Herbert Sime • Betty Swanwick • Margaret Tarrant
Norman Thelwell • Gillian Tyler • Louis Wain • M V Wheelhouse • Alan Wright
The exhibition is accompanied by a 242-page catalogue with over 370 full colour and black-and-white images, new essays and biographies, presenting a selection of illustration from 1880 to 2017. The catalogue is available from the gallery at £15 + p&p.
1. The exhibition takes place from Saturday 18 November 2017 to Saturday 6 January 2017, on Monday to Saturday from 10am-5:30pm at
Chris Beetles Gallery
8 & 10 Ryder Street
020 7839 7551
2. Free digital images are available on request from the gallery.
3. An illustrated brochure will be available, and all images will be featured on our website www.chrisbeetles.com
4. Press contact
020 7839 7551
A Book by its Cover
The wealth of designs for book covers and title pages included this year almost comprises an exhibition in itself. As well as providing much information, both verbal and visual, about the contents of an individual book, the cover and title page also exemplify many aspects of the general evolution of style in art and design, and so summarise the history of twentieth-century illustration.
George Du Maurier, Phil May and Charles Dana Gibson
A large and impressive group of drawings by Phil May provides something of a retrospective of this influential, late nineteenth-century graphic artist. It is also given context by the inclusion of works by his older and younger contemporaries, George Du Maurier and the American, Charles Dana Gibson. The three artists knew each other, and their works were compared by contemporary critics.
Fantasy and Imagination
A regular highlight of our exhibitions is the strong strain of imaginative and fantastic imagery that runs through the British illustrative tradition. It is epitomised by such famed Edwardian gift book artists as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, the latter being represented here by an exquisite orientalist depiction of the Annunciation. The tradition has been carried through to the present by a number of meticulous illustrators, including Alan Lee, who is known for his award-winning work on the books of J R R Tolkien and the films that they have inspired.
M V Wheelhouse
A significant group of illustrations by Mary Vermuyden Wheelhouse allows for a reassessment of this highly-talented but neglected artist. Her images, both for classics and children’s books, make vivid the the society and settings experienced by young people in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, including the many charming corners of old London described by May Baldwin in her book, Holly House and Ridges Row (1908).
The success of Edward Ardizzone as an illustrator lies to a great degree in his ability to observe the English scene with both clarity and humanity. This is demonstrated in a wide range of impressive and entertaining watercolours, drawings and illustrated letters, as well as book illustrations, showing people at work and play, whether in pub or music hall, in artist’s studio or court room, or at the seaside.
Fred Banbery has gained a reputation for creating the essential look of Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear. A large number of his delightful Paddington studies are included here, alongside a wide variety of other, equally skilful drawings – from a series of portraits of nineteenth-century writers illustrating Linda Wolfe’s The Literary Gourmet (1962) to scenes of classic operas for Henry W Simon’s The New and Enlarged Treasury of Grand Opera (1965). Most surprising, even alarming, is an ingeniously grotesque image of Alfred Hitchcock.
John Glashan combined confident use of watercolour with quirky characters in pen in order to create his highly original cult cartoon strip, ‘Genius’. Showcased here are some of the best and most characteristic of these strips, featuring Anode Enzyme, a man with an IQ of 12,794, and his patron Lord Doberman, as originally published in the Observer between 1978 and 1983.
From the 1960s, Mark Boxer became equally well known as a caricaturist and a social cartoonist, and both of his graphic achievements are included here. His famous subjects include many facets of Britain’s social elite, including politicians (from Harold Macmillan to Michael Heseltine) and writers (from Iris Murdoch to Tom Stoppard). In his version of the world, they seemed to rub shoulders with the Stringalongs, the chief characters of his pocket cartoons.