Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature

Exhibition Website

Feb 23 2024 - Jun 9 2024

Creator of unforgettable animal characters like Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher, and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, the beloved children’s book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) rooted her fiction in the natural world. Childhood summers spent in Scotland and the Lake District nourished Potter’s love of nature, while her famous menagerie of pets inspired her picture letters and published tales. Studying botany and mycology established her abiding interest in the life sciences, a passion that she would bring to rural life at Hill Top Farm. There she enjoyed a second act as a sheep breeder and land conservationist, ultimately bequeathing 4,000 acres of farmland to the National Trust.​​

This playful, interactive exhibition invites visitors of all ages to rediscover one of the most renowned authors of children’s fiction in the 20th century, exploring the places and animals that inspired Beatrix Potter’s beloved stories including The Tale of Peter Rabbit™, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. Through more than one hundred twenty-five personal objects — including sketches, watercolors, rarely seen letters, coded diaries, commercial merchandise, paintings, and experimental books – the exhibition will also examine Potter’s life as a strong-minded, shrewd, and imaginative businesswoman, natural scientist, farmer, and conservationist, a legacy that extends to the present.

The exhibition brings together artwork, books, manuscripts, and artifacts from several institutions in the United Kingdom, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Trust, and the Armitt Museum and Library. These objects trace how Potter’s innovative blend of scientific observation and imaginative storytelling shaped some of the world’s most popular children’s books.

Credit: Overview from museum website

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