Quentin Blake and John Yeoman: 50 Years of Children’s Books is the first exhibition to celebrate illustrator Blake’s decades-long partnership with the author. It opens at the Lady Lever Art Gallery this autumn, running from 19 October until 3 March 2019, and will feature more than 40 works, including illustrations and books by the two.
Quentin Blake has had a number of extended collaborations with writers such as Roald Dahl, but the longest of all has been with John Yeoman. It was Yeoman who first persuaded Quentin to try his hand at children’s illustration in 1960. The result – A Drink of Water – sparked their artistic relationship that has lasted for more than half a century, delivering almost 50 projects in that time. Their most recent, All The Year Round, was published by Andersen Press in 2017. The original drawings for these and a further 10 projects Blake and Yeoman have worked on together – from picture books and short novels for children to adaptations of classic folk tales – will feature in the exhibition. These include:
The Boy Who Sprouted Antlers; Mouse Trouble; The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus; Quentin Blake’s Amazing Animal Stories; The World’s Laziest Duck and other Amazing Records; The Hermit and the Bear; All The Year Round, The Heron and the Crane; Sixes and Sevens; and Up with Birds.
Dave Moffatt, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Lady Lever, said; “Quentin Blake and John Yeoman’s work is familiar to many – theirs is a unique and special partnership, beautifully celebrated through the images and publications that make up 50 Years of Children’s Books. Adult visitors will have grown up with Yeoman’s amazing and fantastical tales, illustrated by Quentin Blake in his immediately recognisable style. The worlds they created continue to fire imaginations as the recent re-printing of their first project, A Drink of Water, originally published just over half a century ago shows”.
Quentin Blake and John Yeoman: 50 Years of Children’s Books was created by House of Illustration, the UK’s only public gallery dedicated to illustration and graphic art.
The exhibition is accompanied by an exciting public programme of free activities for all ages.