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.

Exploring Beatrix Potter

Photo of 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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of Drawing of water lilies, by Beatrix Potter, probably 1906, probably Esthwaite Water, Cumbria. Linder Collection cat. no. LC 3/A/2. © The Trustees of The Linder Collection, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
Drawing of water lilies, by Beatrix Potter, probably 1906, probably Esthwaite Water, Cumbria. Linder Collection cat. no. LC 3/A/2. © The Trustees of The Linder Collection, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of 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
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

Photo of 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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of At Evening's Close, by Beatrix Potter, about 1902, Eeswyke, Sawrey. Linder Collection cat. no. LC 4/A/2. © The Trustees of The Linder Collection, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
At Evening's Close, by Beatrix Potter, about 1902, Eeswyke, Sawrey. Linder Collection cat. no. LC 4/A/2. © The Trustees of The Linder Collection, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of 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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of 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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
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, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of 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. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
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. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of 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. © Image courtesy 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. © Image courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of Landscape at Sidmouth, background study for The Tale of Little Pig Robinson (1930), by Beatrix Potter, possibly 1904. Museum no. BP.1127(viii), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB 828. © Image courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.
Landscape at Sidmouth, background study for The Tale of Little Pig Robinson (1930), by Beatrix Potter, possibly 1904. Museum no. BP.1127(viii), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB 828. © Image courtesy Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.

Photo of 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.
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.

Photo of Studies of a cat, by Beatrix Potter, late 19th/early 20th century. Museum no. BP.385(b), Linder Bequest cat. no. LB 131. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 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. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.

Learn more about Beatrix Potter

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