The artists behind the covers: new show explores the art of Ladybird publishing

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23.

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23. - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

A vast collection of Ladybird books, original artwork and artefacts has arrived at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth.

Collectable and timeless, Ladybird books are present on so many bookshelves across the world, but this distinctive collection would not have become even half as iconic without the artwork which adorns the books.

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23.

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23. - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

Ladybird book expert Helen Day has curated the touring show which traces the interconnected work of the artists who brought to light the Ladybird books during 'golden years' between 1940 and 1975. 

The exhibition tracks the history of the children's book publisher's - part of the Penguin Group - and promises to evoke many memories of childhood, such as the “Peter and Jane” reading scheme books used by schools.

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23.

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23. - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

Helen Day, said: “For many years now, I’ve been interested in Ladybird books – vintage ones – before 1975.

"I’m interested in the history, the artists who illustrated the books and the social history that their illustrations contain. I began as a collector but my interest soon broadened into a desire to gather and curate information about the company in the period before it was sold, in the mid-1970s.” 

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23.

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23. - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

Opened in 2004, the Time and Tide Museum charts both the maritime and social history of Great Yarmouth. It is one of ten museums and study centres within the Norfolk Museums Service, a partnership between Norfolk County Council and Norfolk's district councils, funded through council tax, earned income and grants.

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The Time and Tide Museum, a preserved herring curing works and smokehouse, is home to a growing arts programme, with previous exhibitions exhibiting work from Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones and Craig Easton. In 2017, the Norfolk Museums Service was successful in their bid for continuing major investment from Arts Council England. 

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23.

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23. - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

The wonderful world of the Ladybird book artists is on show at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth until January 23.

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