Dedicated to old Ladybird books - 1914 -1975

The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Artists: an exhibition

The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Artists

(The next outing for the Ladybird Artists exhibition will be this summer, July 2019, at New Walk Museum in Leicester).


What is the story behind the Ladybird Artists exhibition, which opened in Canterbury in June 2018?

The more I research the history of the original Ladybird Books brand, the more strongly I feel that it encapsulates so much of the history of the 20th century.  There were many different factors behind Ladybird books’ phenomenal success in the 1950s – 80s but as Ladybird books were essentially picture books, it could be said that their success rested largely with the success of the artwork in attracting and engaging readers.   But who were these artists?  Are they known for other work?  Were they employees of the company? What was the context in which they were illustrating?   Who were the models for the pictures and what were the real locations?  I hope the exhibition can begin to tell their story – and in the process evoke those powerful memories of childhood.

Dates and visitor numbers

  • Leicester New Walk Museum – 13th July 2019 – 1st Sepember 2019
  • The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge 9th June – 23rd Sept 1918   Final visitor numbers to the exhibition: 18,146


Firstly, here’s a brief video made by ITV Kent:


Below is a snapshot of images from the Canterbury exhibition – to give you a flavour


The nostalgic aspect of the exhibition had a powerful effect – on staff as well as on the visiting public!

message board with comments

The message board invited people to talk about their favourite Ladybird book but …

The reception of visitors to the exhibition has been amazing and universally positive.  Donations to the exhibition were significantly up over the period and the comments board was filled as fast as it was cleared of enthusiastic responses.

Completed comment cards

… the response was unexpectedly enthusiastic and varied – and many took it as an opportunity to say nice things about the exhibition

Comments on social media were also abundent and enthusiastic.  Here is a sample.

Media coverage

ITV Meridian

Kent Life magazine

BBC Radio Kent (two programmes)

Local newspapers (3 features)

More Information

Touring Exhibition Group website

Ladybird Artists exhibition facebook page