Colour In Our Collections

It seems as if everyone has gone colouring book mad, so what better time to share some examples we have in the archive and offer a chance for you to have a go yourself?

One of the most fascinating collections we hold at Blythe House is the Renier Collection, the largest special collection of children’s literature in the UK. Given to the museum in 1970 by Anne and Fernand Renier, it consists of 80,000 books as well as toys, games and printed ephemera. It also features two early examples of colouring books:

    ‘Little Folks’, with illustrations by Lizzie Lawson and others, 1882

    Little Folks, National Art Library no. 861.AA.6126 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    National Art Library no. 861.AA.6126 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Little Folks, National Art Library no. 861.AA.6126 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Little Folks, National Art Library no. 861.AA.6126 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    ‘Floral Fancies’ by G. W. Rhead, 1886

    Floral Fancies, National Art Library no. 60.V.135 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    National Art Library no.60.V.135 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Floral Fancies, National Art Library no. 60.V.135 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    National Art Library no. 60.V.135 Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

The Archive of Art & Design also holds the Krazy Kat Arkive of artist and designer Eduardo Paolozzi. The collection of 20,000 items include collages, comics, scrapbooks as well as a wealth of colouring and activity books, mostly from the 1960s and 1970s. Aside from featuring Superman, Doctor Who, Star Trek and Buck Rogers, it also holds rarer gems such as:

    Chief Wholecheeze Colouring Book of Alaska, 1966

    The Chief Wholecheeze Alaskan Coloring Book, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    The Chief Wholecheeze Alaskan Coloring Book, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    The Chief Wholecheeze Alaskan Coloring Book, ‘Sammy does the Haida Blanket Dance with the Chilkat Dancers’, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Your Trip by Air Coloring Book, undated

    Your Trip by Air front cover, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Your Trip by Air front cover, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Your Trip by Air back cover, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Your Trip by Air back cover, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Shirley Temple My Book to Color, 1937

    Shirley Temple My Book to Color, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Shirley Temple My Book to Color, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Shirley Temple My Book to Color, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

    Shirley Temple My Book to Color, Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum 2016

And for those feeling stressed and in need of artistic inspiration, print off some of the V&A’s collections and colour your cares away (click to enlarge):

  1. Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee wallpaper, E.791-1970, supplied by F. Scott & Son, 1887wallpaper3-min__1460731538_193_62_214_120
  2. Henry Capel’s Art Furniture photolithograph show-card, 29637:138, printed by S. Straker & Sons, 1875show%20card3-min__1460731710_193_62_214_120
  3. Birds and Berries wallpaper design, E.145-1974, designed by C. F. A. Voysey, 1893voysey3-min
  4. Drawing, AL.8281:1, by Mirza Akbar, 1840-1870mirza3-min__1460731406_193_62_214_120
  5. Design for stained glass, no.1460, possibly by Hans Jakob Plepp, 1575-1595stained%20glass3-min__1460731779_193_62_214_120

 

The Renier Collection of children’s literature can be searched on the National Art Library Catalogue.
For more information on the Eduardo Paolozzi archive contact the Archive of Art & Design here.

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