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March 30, 2023
2023 marks the centenary of the “Flower Fairies,” which were created by illustrator and author Cicely Mary Barker and first published in 1923, in “Flower Fairies of The Spring.”
To commemorate the milestone, Lady Lever Gallery in Liverpool, England, is hosting an exhibition in association with Penguin Ventures. “Flower Fairies” will open on April 15 and run through Nov. 5. The exhibition looks at the delicate artwork and impact of Barker’s creations on popular culture and features around 45 original illustrations, including Barker’s best-loved “Flower Fairy” creations and early sketch works, alongside digital projections and costumes inspired by the fairies, designed by costume designer, Vin Burnham.
In total, “The Flower Fairies” collection comprises an archive of 170 botanically accurate illustrations, now managed and licensed by Penguin Ventures on behalf of brand owner, Frederick Warne & Co. (part of Penguin Random House Children’s).
“It has been a pleasure working with the Lady Lever Art Gallery on the ‘Flower Fairies’ exhibition, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first printing of Cicely Mary Barker’s ‘Flower Fairies of the spring,’” says Sara Glenn, commercial curator, Penguin Ventures. “Highlights on loan from the Warne Archive will include a selection of original ‘Flower Fairy’ artworks and three beautiful costumes specially created in quarter scale by Vin Burnham. We’re so excited to help bring this exhibition to the Lady Lever Art Gallery and hope that visitors of all ages will enjoy stepping into the magical world that Cicely created 100 years ago.”
In addition, Penguin Ventures recently acquired a private collection of Cicely Mary Barker’s original objects and ephemera on behalf of Frederick Warne & Co., which offers further insights into the artist herself. Comprising photographs, letters, sketchbooks, notebooks and artworks of people she knew and places she visited, this new acquisition brings a wealth of historical reference and context to the existing Frederick Warne & Co. archive.
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