Saturday, February 25, 2017

Heath Robinson Exhibition Coming to Delaware

The Fairy’s Birthday, 1925, published in
Holly Leaves, December, 1925. W. Heath Robinson
(1872–1944). Pen, ink, and watercolor,
17 1/2 × 12 3/8 in. (44.5 × 31.5 cm). The William Heath Robinson Trust.
An exhibition of the artwork of W. Heath Robinson will open March 4 at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington. The show is called "Wonder and Whimsy: The Illustrations of W. Heath Robinson." 

Shepherd’s Hill, Highgate by W. Heath Robinson
(1872–1944). Pen and watercolor, 29 1/8 x 20 1/16 inches
The William Heath Robinson Trust.
According to the museum:
"While little known today, during his lifetime W. Heath Robinson (1872 -1944) was ranked with Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac as one of England’s foremost illustrators. Beginning in the 1890s Robinson developed a linear style that looks back to the innovations of the Pre-Raphaelite illustrators and forward to the art nouveau creations of Aubrey Beardsley and others. He illustrated a broad range of texts, including William Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, and the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, in addition to children’s books he wrote himself. He is best remembered today for his humorous depictions of Rube Goldberg-like contraptions and gentle satires of contemporary life."
The show will be up through May 21, 2017.


Steve said...

Thanks for the heads up on this, Jim. Wish I could be in Wilmington before May 21. Robinson is a favorite of mine. I like his work at least as much as Arthur Rackham's, perhaps more. They both had a wonderful sense of line, but I feel Robinson had -- as the text accompanying the show hints, more "range." Many of Rackham's paintings and drawings have, in my opinion, more mood and emotional intensity, but the feeling they convey all seems to be emanating from a certain wavelength. For me, looking at over 60 works by Robinson would be a broader experience -- with some of the works achieving a depth comparable to Rackham's. All highly subjective, of course...

David Webb said...

The term 'that looks a bit Heath Robinson' was commonly used by my Dad's generation (and mine if I'm honest) to describe any home made contraption, or repair, of dubious reliability. The phrase was, no doubt, inspired by WHR's many humorous drawings of machines and inventions.

Unknown said...

Hi James!

On an older post, you said:

"When I was painting animation backgrounds around 1981 (Bakshi/Frazetta's "Fire and Ice"), we were using cel vinyl paint, which is a lot like gouache in being very opaque."

I would LOVE to see some of those paintings, or examples of your cel vinyl work. Could you share? I'm currently trying to learn about painting for animation in traditional media, as well as anime poster color but it's a fading tradition and getting more difficult each year. I've tried Sakura poster color in the jars (which I'm told is totally comparable to nicker brand) and I think I prefer it to gouache, as it doesn't lift much when painting over but is still rewettable, unlike acrylic gouache. So it seems like a happy compromise.