On View: Illustrations from the Swallows and Amazons Series
Artistic interpretations of a classic twentieth-century English children’s story by illustrators from outside the UK are the focus of a new exhibition in the Lake District.
Swallows and Amazons: As Seen From Abroad has been organized by the Arthur Ransome Trust and is on display at writer and artist John Ruskin’s former home, Brantwood. The exhibition focuses on the Swallows and Amazons series of children’s adventures written by Ransome between 1930 and 1947 which are largely set in the area in which he lived for many years and found inspiration.
Over the last 90 years, the books have been translated into around two dozen languages including Arabic, Thai, and Vietnamese and on display are nearly 100 sketches and paintings from 20 artists who have put their mark on the adventures of the young eponymous sailors. While modern translations usually use Ransome’s own illustrations, many earlier editions included these unique drawings.
Among the items on show are:
* A drawing of Captain Flint walking the plank by K.F. Brust from the 1933 German edition of Swallows and Amazons
* Arthur Ransome's Winter Holiday drawing “Captain Nancy Gives Instructions,” including his comment, "it would be unfair to show Nancy's pumpkin face" (caused by a bout of mumps)
* Ondřej Sekora’s drawing for the 1937 Czech edition of Winter Holiday which, in contrast to Ransome’s, shows Nancy’s pumpkin face very clearly
* A group drawing of the Swallows and Amazons with Captain Flint and Young Billy from the 1948 Spanish edition by an unknown Spanish artist
Visitors can also make use of a free new Swallows & Amazons app which has an ‘Exhibition’ section with a floor plan linking to each part of the gallery with more details on the displays.
Swallows and Amazons: As Seen From Abroad runs until August 9, 2022.