The extraordinary life of Beatrix Potter told in an exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum

Beatix-Potter-Peter-Rabbit © Victoria and Albert Museum-London-cover-image

The extraordinary life of Beatrix Potter told in an exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum

Writer, illustrator and naturalist, Beatrix Potter was (and is) one of the most beloved children’s story writers of the 20th century.
From 12 February 2022 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London dedicates to Potter a great exhibition entitled ‘Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature‘.
Realized through a major partnership with the National Trust, the playful and interactive exhibition will invite visitors to explore the breadth of Potter’s achievements and multifaceted life, from storyteller to natural scientist and conservationist.
The exhibition will showcase over 240 personal objects including rarely seen letters, manuscripts, sketches, coded diaries, family photographs, examples of commercial merchandise, and personal artifacts. It will celebrate her early talent for storytelling, her business acumen, and her fascination with the scientific study of the natural world, as well as her passion for sheep farming and conservation – a legacy still felt today.
Across four sections, the exhibition will follow Potter’s journey from London to the Lake District, where she eventually settled. The first section, Town and Country, will provide a backdrop to her childhood in South Kensington in London; Under the Microscope will highlight Potter’s interest in natural science; A Natural Storyteller will reveal her almost accidental journey to becoming a best-selling author; finally, Living Nature will follow Potter to the Lake District and celebrate her profound impact on the natural landscape. Visitors will leave the exhibition having met the real Beatrix Potter, an exceptional woman, determined to gain success and respect in notoriously closed-off male-dominated fields.

Beatrix-Potter-The-Tale-of-Benjamin-Bunny-Peter-with-handkerchief-1904.-Watercolour-and-pencil-on-paper-©-National-Trust-images

above and cover image (detail): The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, Peter with handkerchief by Beatrix
Potter, 1904. Watercolour and pencil on paper. © National Trust Image.

Annemarie Bilclough, Frederick Warne Curator of Illustration at the Victoria and Albert Museum said: “Beatrix Potter was a town mouse longing to be a country mouse. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature invites visitors to follow her journey from Victorian London to the Lake District fells. Visitors will be familiar with the extraordinary legacy of Potter’s storybooks, but in this exhibition will discover how her talent at making her characters real emerged from a long-standing curiosity for the small details of nature, which could have led her down a different career path. We hope to inspire the next generation of artists and storytellers, but also natural scientists, conservationists and farmers. Potter’s story shows that through talent, passion and perseverance, life can take unexpected twists and turns and great things can grow from inconsequential beginnings.”

Beatrix-Potter-aged-15-with-her-dog-Spot-by-Rupert-Potter-c.1880

Beatrix Potter, aged 15, with her dog, Spot, by Rupert Potter, c.1880–1. print on paper.
Linder Bequest. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

About Peter Rabbit™ and Beatrix Potter
The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the world’s best-loved children’s books and was created by Beatrix Potter in 1902. The story has never been out of print since it was first published by Frederick Warne & Co. (today an imprint of Penguin Random House) and has sold in excess of 46 million copies globally. Today over 2 million of her ‘little books’ are sold globally every year, whilst Peter Rabbit has appeared on books and merchandise in more than 110 countries throughout the world.
In 2022, Penguin Random House Children’s will be celebrating 120 years of mischief with a global campaign to bring The World of Peter Rabbit™ to new family audiences via high-profile partners and ambassadors. New digital content, commemorative publishing, and consumer products will launch alongside immersive experiences and events.

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature
12 February 2022  / 8 January 2023
Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London.

Beatrix-Potter-Clogs-1920

Clogs worn by Beatrix Potter, 1920 © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Picture letter by Beatrix Potter sent to Noel Moore from Heath Park-Birnam-21 August 1892. Ink over pencil on paper. © Lloyd E. Cotsen Collection, Princeton University

Picture letter by Beatrix Potter sent to Noel Moore from Heath Park, Birnam, 21 August 1892.
Ink over pencil on paper. Courtesy of Princeton University Library.

Beatrix-Potter-Drawing-studies-of-a-ground-beetle-Carabus-nemoralis-ca.-1887

Drawing; magnified studies of a ground beetle (Carabus nemoralis) by Beatrix Potter, ca. 1887. Linder Bequest. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Beatix-Potter-Mrs-Rabbit-pouring-tea-for-Peter

Mrs Rabbit pouring tea for Peter while her children look on: variant illustration for The tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, 1902. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Beatrix-Potter-View across Esthwaite Water-1909- Linder Bequest © Victoria and Albert Museum-London-courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

View across Esthwaite Water, by Beatrix Potter, 21 November 1909. Linder Bequest.
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Beatrix Potter, shepherd and sheep at a show by Beatrix Potter (London 1866 ¿ Near Sawrey, Cumbria 1943)

Tom Storey and Beatrix Heelis with prize-winning ewe named ‘WaterLily’, at the Eskdale Show, 26 September 1930. Photographic print, published by the British Photo Press. © National Trust Images


 

 

 


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