Beatrix at 150
Beatrix Potter was born on 28 July 1866, so 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of her birth.
This page is devoted to events celebrating this special year.
Newly identified illustration on display as V&A celebrates Beatrix Potter anniversary
To coincide with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter this year, the V&A celebrates the children’s author and illustrator with a number of special displays about her life and work. A recently identified and never published illustration from Potter’s tale of ‘Kitty-in-Boots’ will be shown for the first time at the Museum next week. This year’s displays include selections of manuscripts, illustrations and letters in The Tale of Beatrix Potter and Ernest Aris, and Beatrix Potter’s London, which will explore how Potter was influenced by the cultural life of her birthplace and reveal her close connection with the V&A and South Kensington.
The tale of Kitty-in-Boots is one of Potter’s unpublished manuscripts for which she began ‘several drawings’. Until recently, however, only one finished drawing and two rough sketches for the story had been identified. Frederick Warne Curator of Children’s Literature at the V&A, Emma Laws, has now identified a new drawing from the story, after it was brought to her attention from a privately owned collection.
Previous knowledge of the Kitty-in-Boots story is largely owed to the Potter scholar and enthusiast Leslie Linder (1904-1973) whose collection of Potter drawings and manuscripts was bequeathed to the V&A in 1973, including three manuscripts of Kitty-in-Boots. Laws has identified that the drawing, which is not quite finished, illustrates a scene halfway through the story, in which Kitty appears in a woodland background alongside two ferrets and a little rabbit in a blue coat – recognisably the figure of Peter Rabbit. The newly identified illustration is a significant contribution to picturing the story as Potter would have intended, and an insight into her working process. The drawing will be shown alongside a page from one of her original manuscripts, a dummy book of the text of the story and two other drawings.
The V&A holds the world’s largest collection of Beatrix Potter’s drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and related materials, and hosts a regularly changing display on particular aspects of her work. The V&A’s connection with Beatrix Potter begins from the author’s lifetime. Although Potter is often associated with the sweeping landscapes of Scotland and the Lake District depicted in her illustrations, she actually spent most of her life at her family home at 2 Bolton Gardens in South Kensington and frequently visited the museums nearby.
‘Beatrix Potter with Patricia Routledge’
UK television film shown originally in January 2016.
More4 celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter in a special documentary presented by actress Patricia Routledge (Patron of the BP Society)
‘Beatrix Potter with Patricia Routledge’ has now been nominated for a Royal Television Society Programme Award 2016 (Northern Circle, Yorkshire) in the ‘Best Factual Programme’ category. It is up against two other films – ‘Peter Kay: 20 Years of Funny’ and ‘Secret History ‒ London’s Lost Graveyard: The Crossrail Discovery’ – and the result will be announced on Friday 24 June at a ceremony in Leeds. Congratulations to the Society’s Patron, Patricia Routledge, and to everyone else involved in the making of this film.
Celebrating the Wonderful World of Beatrix Potter
For the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth The Royal Mint has struck a series of official UK 50p coins in celebration of this gifted woman.
On 28 July 2016, Royal Mail is issuing six special stamps, and a miniature sheet, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter.