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Mrs Rabbit pouring tea for Peter for The tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 1902 Victoria and Albert Museum London courtesy Frederick Warne Co Ltd

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature Exhibition at the V&A

Celebrating the life and work of one of the best loved children's authors of the 20th century.

Exhibition details

This family friendly exhibition will take visitors on a journey to discover Potter’s life as a scientist and conservationist, exploring the places and animals that inspired her most beloved characters.

V&A and National Trust – two of the world’s largest Beatrix Potter collections – come together to tell her life story in V&A exhibition Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature

Exhibition dates

12 February 2022 – 8 January 2023
The Porter Gallery

Visit the V&A website to buy tickets and plan your visit.

The exhibition is co-curated by Annemarie Bilclough, Frederick Warne Curator of Illustration at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Helen Antrobus, Assistant National Curator at the National Trust.

Mrs Rabbit pouring tea for Peter for The tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, 1902. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature will be the first exhibition to tell the complete life story of Beatrix Potter, one of the best loved authors of Children’s fiction in the 20th Century. Realised through a major partnership with the National Trust, this playful and interactive exhibition will invite visitors of all ages to rediscover this household name and explore the breadth of Potter’s achievements and multifaceted life, from storyteller to natural scientist and conservationist.

The exhibition will showcase over 240 personal objects including rarely seen letters, manuscripts, sketches, coded diaries, family photographs, examples of commercial merchandise and personal artefacts. It will celebrate her early talent for storytelling, her business acumen and her fascination with the scientific study of the natural world, as well as her passion for sheep farming and conservation – a legacy still felt today.

Across four sections, the exhibition will follow Potter’s journey from London to the Lake District, where she eventually settled. The first section, Town and Country, will provide a backdrop to her childhood in South Kensington in London; Under the Microscope will highlight Potter’s interest in natural science; A Natural Storyteller will reveal her almost accidental journey to becoming a best-selling author; finally, Living Nature will follow Potter to the Lake District and celebrate her profound impact on the natural landscape.

PETER RABBIT™ © Frederick Warne & Co. 2021. PETER RABBIT and BEATRIX POTTER are trademarks of Frederick Warne & Co., a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved

“Beatrix Potter was a town mouse longing to be a country mouse. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature invites visitors to follow her journey from Victorian London to the Lake District fells. Visitors will be familiar with the extraordinary legacy of Potter’s storybooks, but in this exhibition will discover how her talent at making her characters real emerged from a long standing curiosity for the small details of nature, which could have led her down a different career path. We hope to inspire the next generation of artists and storytellers, but also natural scientists, conservationists and farmers. Potter’s story shows that through talent, passion and perseverance, life can take unexpected twists and turns and great things can grow from inconsequential beginnings.”
Annemarie Bilclough, Frederick Warne Curator of Illustration at the Victoria and Albert Museum