Wednesday 3 September 2014

Classic children's illustrations find a new home at Seven Stories

Last month saw the arrival at Seven Stories of two sets of classic children's illustrations which have been given a new home in the national collection. 

Thanks to a hugely generous response to a recent appeal we have managed to acquire five of Susan Einzig's wonderful original illustrations for Phillippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden (read more about the appeal here: In addition to this fantastic acquisition we were also delighted to acquire Harold Jones's original (and near complete) artwork for the classic book of nursery rhymes Lavender's BlueThe purchase of this artwork was made possible thanks to grants from ArtFund ( and the Victoria and Albert Museum/Arts Council England Purchase Grant Fund (

Late last month, Lindsey (Seven Stories conservator) and I had a trip to London to collect both of our new acquisitions and bring them back to the national collection up in Newcastle.

Our first visit was to the Piers Feetham gallery in Fulham to pick up the Susan Einzig artwork. 

The artwork has recently been on display here and is still freshly mounted.

Next we made the short trip to Putney (where illustrator Harold Jones used to live) to pick up the artwork for Lavender's Blue. There was much more of this artwork (over 160 pieces altogether!) so careful repackaging was required before we could take the artwork away.

This is Lindsey carefully deframing some of the artwork
This is the artwork being transferred to its new acid free, archival packaging

For any fans of Harold Jones we were also introduced to the original 'Bunby' (the character from A Happy Christmas, There and Back Again, and other of Jones's books):


We rounded our day of classic children's illustration off with a quick stop off to see our friends at the fantastic House of Illustration where we saw (but unfortunately couldn't take!) some wonderful Quentin Blake illustrations.

On our way to the House of Illustration

To celebrate the arrival of Lavender's Blue at Seven Stories there'll be a feature length blog post coming up all about the life and work of Harold Jones. There'll also be a special post looking at Susan Einzig and Tom's Midnight Garden. So keep an eye out for these. The artwork for Lavender's Blue will be featuring in a new Seven Stories exhibition on nursery rhymes next summer.

If you want to find out more about either of these collections or about any other of our illustration collections then
email:, phone: 01914952707 or visit:

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