Beatrix Potter

Archive & Library Reading Room, Blythe House, Olympia

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The V&A is a major resource for the study of Beatrix Potter. The museum holds the world's largest collection of her drawings, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and related materials. Besides studies for her Tales, nursery rhymes and fairy tales, the collection is strong in natural history and landscape watercolours and includes some family archival material.

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The V&A's Potter collections began with Leslie Linder (1904–73), the engineer and Potter enthusiast known for decoding Potter's secret diary. His substantial bequest of artworks led to further acquisitions, including his working papers, Potter family artworks, books and albums. The V&A also takes care of important loans: individual treasures like the 'Peter Rabbit' picture letter and Beatrix's paint box, the Linder Trust and Beatrix Potter Society collections and Frederick Warne & Co. Archive.

Collection Highlights

View across Esthwaite Water, by Beatrix Potter, 21 November 1909. Museum no. BP.1079, Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.542. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Drawing of water lilies, by Beatrix Potter, probably 1906, probably Esthwaite Water, Cumbria. Museum no. LOAN:LINDER TRUST.18-1994. © The Trustees of The Linder Collection
Beatrix Potter with her dog, Spot, at Dalguise, Rupert Potter, 1880. Museum no. BP.870, Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.2083. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Drawing, examples of fungi, by Beatrix Potter, 1897, Ullock, Cumbria. Museum no. BP.244, Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.292. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
At Evening's Close, by Beatrix Potter, about 1902, Eeswyke, Sawrey. Museum no. LOAN:LINDER TRUST.26-1994. © The Trustees of The Linder Collection
Illustrated letter to Nancy Nicholson, featuring the story of 'The Oakmen', by Beatrix Potter, dated December 1916. Museum no. AR.22:1-1997. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Jeremy Fisher sitting on a water lily, fishing; a preparatory drawing for The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, by Beatrix Potter, 1906. Museum no. BP.508(b), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.839. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Duchess walking down a leafy path, background study for an early version of The Pie and the Patty-Pan, by Beatrix Potter, 1902. Museum no. BP.1126 (iv), Linder Bequest Cat. no. LB 764. Image © V&A. With kind permission from Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.
The Lady Mouse curtseys, variant illustration for p. 24 of The Tailor of Gloucester, by Beatrix Potter, 1903. Museum no. BP.473(a), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.793. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.
Garden path and stone outhouse, Fawe Park, Cumbria, by Beatrix Potter, probably July-September 1903. Museum no. LOAN:LINDER TRUST.220-1994. © The Trustees of The Linder Collection
Lady rabbit and gentleman rabbit passing on the street, design for a Christmas card, by Beatrix Potter, June 1890. Museum no. BP.443(a), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.1769. © Image courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
Studies of a cat, by Beatrix Potter, late 19th/early 20th century. Museum no. BP.385(B), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB 131. © Image courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.


Background image: The Rabbits' Christmas Party: Roasting Apples, by Beatrix Potter, about 1892, watercolour and pen and ink on paper. Museum no. BP.1471(c), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB.1005. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London