House of Illustration

The House of Illustration is the world’s first centre dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms.

Our aim is to put illustration centre stage and give it the attention it deserves, revealing the creative processes behind illustration and the way in which it impacts on our daily lives. We want to inspire young people to create illustrations for the world of tomorrow, generate excitement and spark imagination about illustration.

Venue Type:

Gallery

Opening hours

10am - 6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays

Admission charges

Please check before visiting

Getting there

The nearest underground station is King's Cross – take the Regent's Canal exit. Turn right to join King's Boulevard, a pedestrian route going north. Cross over the road and the canal at the top of the Boulevard, and Granary Square is directly in front of you. Head towards the north-east corner and House of Illustration is the smaller building on the right.

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Clare Twomey: Time Present and Time Past

  • 1 June — 18 September 2016 *on now

Ceramicist Clare Twomey transforms the gallery into a live studio, where members of the public will work as apprentices on a William Morris-inspired tile panel
an ambitious installation that will bring his ideas to life.

Twomey is planning to create a vast tile panel embellished with Chrysanthemum, one of William Morris’s most compelling and intricate designs. Over 68 days, 68 volunteer apprentices will work on the piece. Every day, a new apprentice will work alongside a skilled master painter, slowly transforming the tiles from one state of beauty to another. Visitors will be able to watch this process slowly unfold.

The exhibition is a response to William Morris’s approach to making. Like the would-be apprentices, Morris learned his skills through practice and concentration. Skills need to be constantly passed on and shared, from one person to another, to retain their vitality. Twomey’s installation will explore how practising a skill can connect us through time and space to other people. As Morris observed, ‘The past is not dead, but living in us.’

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.wmgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions-43/clare-twomey

The BFG in Pictures

  • 1 June — 2 October 2016 *on now

The BFG in Pictures is an exhibition of original Quentin Blake illustrations, prepared for Roald Dahl’s classic story The BFG.

The exhibition, curated by Quentin Blake, will contain 40 original artworks, including unpublished illustrations of The BFG which have never been exhibited in public before.

The illustrations were included in first designs but were not used when the book was published for the first time in 1982. They provide a unique insight into the character development of one of the most iconic characters in children's literature.

These unpublished illustrations will be exhibited alongside the final illustrations for the book, providing a fascinating insight into the collaboration between author and illustrator, and a glimpse of a BFG that might have been ...

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply:

Adult ticket with gift aid £7.70
Concession ticket with gift aid £5.50
Child ticket with gift aid £4.40
Family ticket with gift aid £19.80

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/the-bfg-in-pictures/event-type/exhibition

A New Childhood: Picture Books from Soviet Russia

  • 1 June — 11 September 2016 *on now

With their perfect synthesis of typography, design and illustration, Soviet children’s books in the 1920s and 1930s revolutionised the picture book form against the turbulent political backdrop of the Russian revolution of 1917.

Exhibited for the first time in the UK, a selection of rare books and original works from the unparalleled collection of Sasha Lurye provides a window on this fertile and fascinating moment in 20th century illustration.

The exhibition explores this period of unprecedented innovation, from pre-revolutionary Russian illustration to the pioneers of Soviet children's publishing. There are illustrations of folk tales, poetry, educational volumes, and extremely rare hand-printed editions and Jewish books illustrated by Marc Chagall and El Lissitzky, all brought to life with bold colours, dynamic shapes and playful layouts.

Discover rarely-seen work by some of the most influential figures of the age, including Vladimir Tambi, sisters Olga and Galina Chichagova, and Vladimir Lebedev, whose avant garde illustrations for prominent poet and translator Samuil Marshak such as Circus and Luggage have become iconic.

Soviet books of the 1920s and early 1930s influenced children’s publishing around the world and provide the key to the modern picture book in the form that we recognise today. In the Netherlands, exhibitions of Soviet books in the 1930s caused a sensation. In France, Russian émigrés Nathalie Parain and Feodor Rojankovsky created an unmistakable aesthetic for the Père Castor albums. And Soviet books brought to England by artist Pearl Binder inspired Noel Carrington to create the illustrious Puffin Picture Book series which began in 1940.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply:

Adult ticket with gift aid £7.70
Concession ticket with gift aid £5.50
Child ticket with gift aid £4.40
Family ticket with gift aid £19.80

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/a-new-childhood-picture-books-from-soviet-russia/event-type/exhibition

drawing of man drawing colourful figures in the air

Seven Kinds of Magic

  • 1 June — 24 August 2016 *on now

We are very excited to present Seven Kinds of Magic, the inaugural exhibition of House of Illustration’s permanent Quentin Blake Gallery.

This exhibition, curated by Blake himself, will explore his varied depictions of magic both in his own books and in those of other writers such as Russell Hoban, John Yeoman and Roald Dahl. It will show original illustrations from seven very different books - Angel Pavement, The Witches, Patrick, Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets, Rosie’s Magic Horse, Magical Tales and My Friend Mr Leakey.

The Quentin Blake Gallery is a new addition to the House of Illustration. It will be the only place in the world to see a permanent exhibition of original artwork by Blake, one of the world's foremost illustrators and the founder of House of Illustration.

The gallery will offer a continuous series of exhibitions of different aspects of Quentin Blake's work, drawing on the unparalleled diversity of his personal archive of thousands of his original illustrations, roughs and preparatory drawings.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply:

Adult ticket with gift aid £7.70
Concession ticket with gift aid £5.50
Child ticket with gift aid £4.40
Family ticket with gift aid £19.80

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/seven-kinds-of-magic/event-type/exhibition

The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots

  • 2 September 2016 — 5 February 2017

An exhibition of Quentin Blake's original illustrations for The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, the recently re-discovered unpublished Beatrix Potter manuscript, to be published on 1 September by Penguin Random House.

The book about 'a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life', features classic Potter characters including Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Mr Tod re-drawn by Blake.

The exhibition will contain around 50 original illustrations inspired by the text.

This will be the second exhibition to be held in the new Quentin Blake Gallery at House of Illustration, which opens in April. The Quentin Blake Gallery will offer a continuous series of exhibitions of different aspects of Blake’s work, drawing on the unparalleled diversity of his personal archive of thousands of original illustrations, roughs and preparatory drawings.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply:

Adult ticket with gift aid £7.70
Concession ticket with gift aid £5.50
Child ticket with gift aid £4.40
Family ticket with gift aid £19.80

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/the-tale-of-kitty-in-boots/event-type/exhibition

drawing of young boy and captain standing next to a boat on beach. The captain points to the sea and the boy's speech bubble reads 'oh I would love to'

Ardizzone: A Retrospective

  • 23 September 2016 — 15 January 2017

Celebrated for his unmistakeable and enduring illustrations, Edward Ardizzone remains one of the most cherished British artists of the 20th century. His wide-ranging output spanned children's books, literary classics, war illustration and much more.

This is the first major exhibition of Ardizzone's work in 40 years, featuring over 100 pieces from public and private collections that reflect the incredible diversity of his career, including original illustrations, paintings, prints and ceramics.

Highlights include a Little Tim manuscript, mural artwork for a P&O ocean liner, ceramic figurines and poster designs for Lyons, as well as sketchbooks and illustrated correspondence.

Ardizzone: A Retrospective is co-curated by House of Illustration's Olivia Ahmad and Alan Powers, author of Edward Ardizzone: Artist and Illustrator. Published to coincide with the exhibition, the book is the first on the artist researched from archival sources, and provides an in-depth survey of his work as well as exploring his connections and influence on mid-20th-century British illustration.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply:

Adult ticket with gift aid £7.70
Concession ticket with gift aid £5.50
Child ticket with gift aid £4.40
Family ticket with gift aid £19.80

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/ardizzone-a-retrospective/event-type/exhibition

A World to Win. Posters of Protest and Revolution

  • 8 October 2016 — 15 January 2017

A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution looks at a century of posters agitating for political change. From the Suffragette campaigns of the early twentieth century, to the Arab Spring, political activists around the world have used posters to mobilise, educate and organise.

The exhibition will present around seventy posters drawn from the national poster collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Showcasing the work of diverse artists, graphic designers and print collectives it will include new acquisitions gathered from recent outbursts of protest in the UK, Russia and the Middle East.

Making or displaying a poster is in itself a means of taking political action, while for many social and political movements posters have represented an important form of cultural output. The show will feature posters made by the Atelier Populaire during the student protests in Paris in 1968, as well as examples from the Russian, Chinese and Cuban Revolutions.

Also on display will be a selection from the Gallery’s collection of Walter Crane’s Cartoons for the Cause. Crane’s early socialist iconography challenged the idea that political struggle was remote from and even destructive of a sense of beauty.

The exhibition will also host artist Ruth Ewan’s ‘A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World’, an on-going collection of over 2000 idealistic or political songs collated by Ewan and disseminated via a CD jukebox.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.wmgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions-43/a-world-to-win-posters-of-protest-and-revolution

photograph of ceramic bowl with illustrations of vikings

Laura Carlin: Ceramics

  • 13 October 2016 — 11 January 2017

The third in our series of illustrator commissions will exhibit new work from acclaimed illustrator and ceramicist Laura Carlin.

In this exhibition, Carlin explores the journey from paper to ceramics – from her first drawing to realising an idea in clay. Figurines, murals and pots reveal the power of ceramics in storytelling.

Voted one of the 50 most influential creatives under 30 by the Art Director’s Club of America, Laura Carlin has illustrated many children's books, and a weekly column in the Financial Times as well as being a regular contributor to Condé Nast Traveller, The New York Times, The Guardian and The New Statesman. In 2010 she won a V&A Award for her illustrations of The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply:

Adult ticket with gift aid £7.70
Concession ticket with gift aid £5.50
Child ticket with gift aid £4.40
Family ticket with gift aid £19.80

Website

http://www.houseofillustration.org.uk/whats-on/current-future-events/laura-carlin-ceramics/event-type/exhibition

Getting there

The nearest underground station is King's Cross – take the Regent's Canal exit. Turn right to join King's Boulevard, a pedestrian route going north. Cross over the road and the canal at the top of the Boulevard, and Granary Square is directly in front of you. Head towards the north-east corner and House of Illustration is the smaller building on the right.

House of Illustration
2 Granary Square
King's Cross
London
N1C 4BH
England

Website

www.houseofillustration.org.uk

Telephone

020 3696 2020

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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