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The Humour of William Heath Robinson
29 May @ 11:00 - 16:00£6
The 31st May 2022 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Heath Robinson. He was trained as an artist at the Royal Academy Schools, and as past exhibitions at the Museum have shown, he was a great illustrator and a highly accomplished painter in watercolours, but it is as a humorous artist that he is best known. To mark this important anniversary, we shall be exhibiting a selection of his cartoons representing the wide range of his subjects and spanning his humorous output from 1905 to 1943.
During two World Wars he deployed irony and satire to counter German propaganda and to bring a little mirth into the otherwise painful lives of servicemen and civilians. Both greatly appreciated his efforts. A similar dry humour was used to satirise the pomposity and fussiness of those who took themselves too seriously. He was modest and gentle, qualities that shine through in his humour.
As a review of his memorial exhibition in the Times in 1945 commented, “What may be unexpected in this exhibition is the fineness of Heath Robinson’s craftsmanship – the clean and firm fluency of his pen line and the quality of his watercolour washes. Those who have known his work only in reproduction will be surprised at its technical excellence.”