March has Gone; Spring is around the Corner?
Firstly, shooting the wolf closest to the sled (3 April) is a talk entitled The Gentle Art of Penguin Book Collecting which is presented by Megan Prince and David Jackson at the Globe at Hay. Megan Prince has owned The Ironbridge Bookshop since 2014. She specialises in Penguin Books and her shop houses a huge array of Penguins both old and new. She is herself a keen collector and a member of the PCS. David Jackson has been collecting Penguins since the early 1980s and has a personal collection of over 2,000 first editions, specialising in the first 10 years of Penguin production 1935-1945. He has been a member of the PCS since 1990 and by coincidence bought one of the scarcer Penguins, ‘Biggles Flies Again’ from Addyman Books in Hay! Further information can be discovered at The Gentle Art of Penguin Book Collecting
As you will have seen if you follow our Instagram and Twitter posts, your scribe visited Ditchling this month. I am amazed that such a small floor area packs so much punch. As well as the permanent display that focuses on those artists that made Ditchling their home (which will also be of interest to Penguin collectors), there were the two promised displays. These are beautifully put together and I was very impressed by the breadth of information on Elizabeth Friedlander. I had done some research prior to my visit, but the items on display brought this all to life. The show of Penguin Essentials is lovely to see and is put in historical context with a glass case display of titles depicting the ‘potted design history of Penguin Books’ which starts with Ariel. There is also a useful background booklet. These exhibitions run until the end of April so this is the last reminder for you to catch them if you can. There is a Penguin Books giveaway of the Essentials at Penguin Essentials Giveaway which would be a very nice little gift. Finally, a concert in St Margaret's Church in Ditchling on Saturday 28 April will feature one of Ireland's most accomplished violinists. NCH Irish Young Musician of the Year 2010-2012, Mairéad Hickey has an impressive résumé and will be playing the wonderful Klotz violin that so many of you liked when I posted the picture on Instagram/Twitter. Mairéad will be accompanied by Yoko Ono on the piano and the evening will begin with a talk on ‘Refugee Artists’. Full information can be obtained from Ditchling Museum.
Another exhibition that is currently running and looks like great fun is at The Heath Robinson Museum. Their blurb tells us ‘our exhibition is about the Neo-Romantic Period in illustration, which came after WW2 and the end of Heath Robinson’s career. A new spirit of romanticism suffused English book and magazine illustration as people reacted against the gloom of blackout and rationing. The artists represented in the exhibition include John Minton, Keith Vaughan, Eric Fraser, John Craxton, Michael Ayrton, Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman and Henry Moore’.
The British Library has a discussion entitled The Art of the Cookbook (23 April) which is chaired by Jill Norman.
Looking further forward is an exhibition at the House of Illustration which is featuring Enid Marx (1902-1998) who was a textile designer, printmaker and illustrator. She is best known today for her industrial textiles for the London Transport Board and wartime Utility Furniture Scheme. But over a career spanning seven decades her work was extraordinarily varied, encompassing patterned paper for Curwen Press, book illustration for King Penguins as well as stamp, poster and print design. The exhibition will be the most comprehensive retrospective of Marx’s work to be mounted in the last 40 years and will bring together over 150 pieces from private and public collections, many previously unseen. The full press release can be read here.
Some more PCS publications have surfaced from the shed at the bottom of the garden and are now listed on our Publications pages. They are as follows:
Penguin By Designers,
Bridget Cherry's (1998) The Buildings of England (with dust jacket) and
Finally, a member has alerted me that The Cottage Bookshop at Penn, near Beaconsfield, is closing. This is sad news as it is something of a venerable institution and I encourage anyone who passes close to it seizes the opportunity to visit before it is no more.