Sat 17 May 08 - Mon 22 Sep 08
Nature’s Delights includes a selection of wildlife paintings by Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe, who introduced a wider audience to the countryside with his illustrations for Ladybird’s popular series What to Look for in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and The Farm.
“The graphic images which accompanied the informative text enchanted generations of children, encouraging them to explore the delights of the natural world,” said Emma House, the Museum’s Assistant Keeper of Fine Art, who has curated the display.
Tunnicliffe created some of his best loved images when producing a series of wood-engravings for the 1932 edition of Tarka the Otter. The popular Brooke Bond Tea cards, which were collected by millions of British youngsters in the 50s and 60s, also featured his talents. His work is complemented in this display by that of Archibald Thorburn, John Cyril Harrison and their contemporaries.
Thorburn received much of his early training from his father, a leading miniature painter and favourite of Queen Victoria, from whom he inherited his eye for detail. In 1927 he was elected Vice President of the RSPB in recognition of his services to bird preservation.
As a young man Harrison studied and sketched birds, learning anatomy from the practise of taxidermy. His study of birds included travels to Scotland, Iceland and Africa, resulting in his illustrations featuring in prestigious publications of the day. He lived for many years in Norfolk, where he painted the rare birds of the Broads and game birds in their natural surroundings.
Through the precise study of anatomy and the accurate depiction of the landscape these artists capture the drama and action of birds hunting their prey, the tranquillity of a wading snipe to the extraordinary display of magpies roosting.
This collection of wildlife paintings was donated to the Museum in 1984 by Miss Sandra Grewcock. The display is open until Sunday 21 September and can be viewed alongside Alfred Sisley: Impressionist Landscapes, which features the largest display of this leading Impressionist’s work outside London for 50 years.