Don’t miss this special opportunity to view our recently acquired additions to our Ladybird Archive!
Thanks to our partnership with Ladybird Books Ltd, Special Collections will be displaying a total of 59 original illustrations by
the artist John Berry. The artwork will be displayed within the University’s Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL), during extended opening hours on the 31st of August 2017.
Artist John Berry (1920-2009), provided illustrations for 35 books for Ladybird during the 1960s and 70s. Notably, the acquisitions include examples from the “People at Work” series, showing illustrations of the miner, the soldier, the sailor, the airman, the fisherman, the shipbuilders, and the life-boat men. Examples from Learning to Ride, the Public Services series (water, gas, electricity) and Come to Holland were also purchased.
For millions of children, Berry’s illustrations would have served as an early introduction to the world of work; today they provide a glimpse into how roles and careers were viewed at the time. A talented realist painter, Berry served as a war artist before becoming a high-profile portrait painter, as well as undertaking work for advertisers, such as the famous Esso tiger.
Guy Baxter, Head of Archive Services at the University of Reading, said: “We are tremendously proud to have been the home of the Ladybird Archive for over 15 years. Thanks to generous funding and support from Ladybird Books Ltd, we have been able to ensure that a very strong representative sample of John Berry’s work for Ladybird has been secured. This will greatly enhance our ever-changing displays in the Ladybird Gallery, and bring enjoyment to many future generations.”
Our exciting new exhibitions will be on display from 5-9pm tomorrow evening, as part of our monthly extended opening hours. Entry into the MERL, and the Ladybird Gallery, is free.