Heath Robinson

A man in a hot air balloon

27 May 2004 - 22 August 2004

Exhibition closed

Heath Robinson looks at different aspects of the artist's talents - from delightful children's book illustrations to drawings of crazy machines. Today Robinson is still most widely remembered for his wonderful humorous drawings. Other exhibits include pieces of china and books illustrated by Robinson.  

The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the William Heath Robinson Trust - most of the artworks are from the Trust's collection.

About the artist

When Robinson left art school in 1895, his ambition was to become a landscape painter. However, he soon realised that such painting would not pay the bills. He followed his two older brothers into book illustration where he quickly established himself as a talented and original artist. 

Robinson created inimitable illustrations for poetry by Poe and Kipling, Andersen's Fairy Tales, A Midsummer Night's Dream, de la Mare's Peacock Pie, The Water Babies and Perrault's Fairy Tales. He is also loved for the children's books he both wrote and illustrated, 

The Adventures of Uncle Lubin and Bill the Minder.Trained at the Royal Academy Schools, it was his skills as a draughtsman combined with his unique vision that accounted for his success both as an illustrator and humorist. As a graphic artist he was constantly experimenting, adopting different styles to suit his subject. 


'Stout members of the sixth column dislodge an enemy machine gun post on the dome of St Paul's', Heath Robinson

Drawilng showing the dome of St Paul's Cathedral being lifted by a mechanical construction leveraging the weight of a group of men

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).

'Romantic possibilities in modern flats', Heath Robinson

Drawing showing a woman standing on a stool on a balcony kissing a man leaning over the balcony above

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).

'How to train yourself to avoid being caught at any part of the field', Heath Robinson

Drawing a man and boy playing cricket on surface full of pots, pans and jugs

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).

'Modern carpet designs may provide endless entertainment for your guests', Heath Robinson

Drawing of a man and a woman playing draughts on a black and white carpet

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).

'The Aeronaut', Heath Robinson

Drawing of a man in a small hot air balloon basket floating over the countryside

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).

'The Fairy's Birthday', Heath Robinson

Drawing of insects and small human figures crossing a spiders web with gifts for a fairy

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).

'The First Aero Wedding', Heath Robinson

Drawing of a vicar standing on a steeple with various propellor-powered aeroplanes circling around with wedding guests

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).

'Testing artificial teeth in a modern tooth works', Heath Robinson

Drawing of a complext mechanical process involving ladders, pulleys, a large group of men

The William Heath Robinson Trust (WHRT).