Edward Ardizzone: 80 Years of Little Tim

‘Tim and Charlotte’ (O.U.P. 1951) © Edward Ardizzone Estate, 1953 From the Seven Stories Collection

“…some of the saltiest and most satisfying picture books created during the last generation”

Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are

Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books

Exhibition showcased from Saturday 30 April – Sunday 18 September 2016, Gillian Dickinson Gallery.

Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books launches new exhibition to commemorate the 80th anniversary of esteemed illustrator Edward Ardizzone's first Little Tim book - Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (first published 1936).  The exclusive exhibition curated using the extensive holdings in the Seven Stories Collection opens at the Visitor Centre on Saturday 30 May and will be on display until September 2016.

The exhibition celebrates iconic British illustrator, Edward Ardizzone, while introducing his work to a new generation.  Original artwork on display from Tim and Lucy Go to Sea, Tim and Charlotte, Tim in Danger and The Little Train (by Graham Greene) - some of it on show for the first time – includes draft material, single illustrations, printed books and letters  and introduces visitors to the characters that made Ardizzone’s books so popular.  Meet heroic Little Tim, mischievous Ginger, resourceful Charlotte and the Wise Old Boatman in the exquisite illustrations on display.

The exhibition explores Ardizzone’s fascination with ships and the sea as well as celebrating his love of adventure with artwork from the Graham Greene story The Little Train.

David Wright, Curator says:

It is a delight to represent Edward Ardizzone and demonstrate his important role in the history of British Children’s literature.  Ardizzone’s work is loved by families and scholars alike and his influence can be seen in the generations of illustrators that have followed him.  I hope the exhibition will introduce the younger generation to Ardizzone’s seminal work. We are thrilled to build on the success of our Gillian Dickinson Gallery which provides Seven Stories with the opportunity to curate an exhibition dedicated to showcasing the original material from Seven Stories’ rich and extensive archive.”

Families stepping into the exhibition will be transported back to the glory days of the classic British seaside town complete with red, white and blue bunting hanging from the lamp-posts and children with whirligigs playing on the beach. Visitors can dress up as sailors and create their own sea-faring adventure, adding illustrations and stories to the captain’s logbook.

Aside from his own stories, Edward Ardizzone is known for illustrating many literary classics by authors, including Clive King’s Stig of the Dump, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps and A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.

To launch the exhibition, visitors are invited to join Seven Stories for a weekend of seafaring adventure (Saturday 30 April – Bank Holiday Monday 2 May).   Join in with sea-shanties, seaside stories and adventuring activities.  First mates will report to the Studio to make binoculars, chart their progress using the map of the world before heading up to the new exhibition to record their voyage in the Captain’s Log.


Media contact. For images and interview opportunities please contact:

Hannah Lambert, Marketing and Digital Coordinator

E: hannah.lambert@sevenstories.org.uk

T: 0300 3301095


Note to the editor

Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books. Seven Stories is the only place in Britain dedicated to the art of children’s books and the joy of reading, and one of just a few such places in the world. Our work is enjoyed by over 150,000 people every year.

Everything we do aims to inspire children and grown-ups to be curious, imaginative and creative. We strive to ensure that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can take part to enjoy a lifetime of reading for pleasure.

Our home is a carefully converted Victorian warehouse in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. We opened in 2005 and our seven floors house galleries for exhibitions, performances and creative spaces, a specialist children’s bookshop and a café.

Seven Stories is widely recognised for our abilities and achievements. We have established an important collection of artwork, manuscripts and archives of Britain’s most acclaimed writers and illustrators for children from 1930s to the present day. We bring this unique treasure trove to life through playful and immersive exhibitions, an entertaining and informative public events programme and research opportunities.

Edward Ardizzone (1900-1979) Artist and Illustrator

Timeline of Little Tim series:

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (1936)

Tim and Lucy go to Sea (1938)

Tim to the Rescue (1949)

Tim and Charlotte (1951)

Tim All Alone (1956), the first book to win the Kate Greenaway Award for the year's most distinguished work in book illustration.

Tim to the Lighthouse (1968)

Tim's Last Voyage (1972)

Ship's Cook Ginger (1977)

The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (1955) was awarded the Carnegie Medal of the British Library Association and the Hans Christian Andersen medal of the International Board on Books for Young People. It was the start of a long and fruitful collaboration between the author and her illustrator.

In 1954, Edward Ardizzone was commissioned to execute a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill for presentation to him on his retirement.

In 1971, Ardizzone was awarded the CBE

Shipwrecked! Adventures at Sea Saturday 30 April – Bank Holiday Monday 2 May, drop in activities for all the family. Free event with admission to the centre. 

Click here to find out more about the Edward Ardizzone archive at Seven Stories

Click here for a comprehensive timeline of Edward Ardizzone's life

Previous exhibitions in the Gillian Dickinson GalleryThe space was first used in 2014 and its inaugural exhibition – Picturebook in Progress – used Seven Stories’ archive material to demonstrate the creative process behind picturebooks.  The exhibition was the culmination of a project with local colleges and Edinburgh and Sunderland University students; a selection of work by the students was featured in the exhibition.  Other exhibition in the Gillian Dickinson Gallery include Twists and Tails: The Story of Angelina Ballerina, A Bear Called Paddington and most recently, Illustrating Harry Potter.  The Gillian Dickinson gallery spaces was established in January 2014 as a departure from the major exhibitions visitors across the country have flocked to explore. The gallery was created as a traditional straight hang exhibition set to feature some of the hidden gems from the Seven Stories collection.