On our last day in London we visited the HOUSE OF ILLUSTRATION in Granary Square. This gallery is dedicated to the illustration of children’s picture books. There were three exhibitions
- A New Childhood :Picture Books from Soviet Russi
- Quentin Blake’ s “The BFG in Pictures”
- Beatrix Potter & Quentin Blake’s: “Kitty in Boots “
The Russian picture book exhibition covered a period of about 20 years post Revolution. In that time there was a dramatic shift in emphasis. In the 1920s there was a very liberal approach providing colourful books to the masses for the first time. Subject matter included predictable formats such as folk tales,rhymes,concept,counting and alphabet books.
Soon however such light hearted approaches were dismissed as unpatriotic and children’s picture books became a vehicle for Stalinist propaganda – serving to convey the values of Soviet society, such as the advancement of communism, the benefits of working hard etc.
In contrast the recently re-discovered hand written “The tale of Kitty in Boots” by Beatrix Potter which she wrote at the outset of WW1 is a charming story for children of the time. It
features her typical warm hearted but cheeky characters. Unfortunately she had only completed one illustration before the tale was abandoned, only to be rediscovered 100 years later in the archives of the V&A Museum
You can read a more detailed account of Kitty in Boots, its discovery and subsequent choice of Quentin Blake as illustrator here ….ABOUT KITTY
The BFG exhibit included a selection of pictures originally drawn by Quentin Blake but not published along with those which featured in the published editions. there were also tables for children to create their own illustrations which were displayed in the museum too
After visiting this delightful exhibition we ventured into the up market Waitrose to enjoy coffee and cake before taking a short stroll along the Regent Canal.
Dianne and Keith skipped the art exhibition and took a longer stroll on the canal to Camden Markets and Regents Park beyond. Dianne took some great photos of the boats negotiating the locks along the canal and Keith claimed the best steak sandwich he has ever had, which for an Aussie is really saying something!
For our last night in London we had a final drink at the local, the Thornhill Arms, and then Dominique and Tom joined us for some takeaway pizzas. We finished our packing ready for the Eurostar and our trip to France early the next morning.
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