2022 marks the 150th birthday of William Heath Robinson, the much-loved English cartoonist, illustrator and artist, whose name is synonymous with whimsically complicated machines and inventions.
Born in Islington on May 31st 1872, he became famous for his gently satirical cartoons and exquisitely ornate book illustrations.
The Heath Robinson Museum, based in Pinner, London, his home between 1908 and 1918, will be celebrating with a programme of events throughout 2022.
The museum was built in 2016 to display the UK’s largest collection of Heath Robinson drawings encompassing his famous contraptions as well as beautiful book illustrations. Visitors can explore Heath Robinson’s life and artistic development in their permanent gallery which features a timeline, original artworks and interactive exhibits. There will also be three special exhibitions, the first featuring his children’s illustrations, then from May 21st visitors can enjoy displays of his unique brand of humour, culminating in their final exhibition of the finest wood engravings of the past century, on loan from the Ashmolean Museum. There will also be art workshops, competitions, live theatre, a Big Birthday Party, expert talks and contemporary craftwork, responding to the humour of Heath Robinson in their shop and on online.
Highlights for 2022 are:
Heath Robinson’s Children’s Stories exhibition of the children’s books that he both wrote and illustrated, 15th January – 15th May
The Humour of William Heath Robinson exhibition 21st May 2022 – 4th September 2022
150th Birthday Party for families 31st May
Play in the Park A Midsummer Night’s Dream 28th August (commemorating Heath Robinson’s illustrated edition of Shakespeare’s play, see illustration below)
Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner Memorial Park, West End Lane, Pinner HA5 1AE heathrobinsonmuseum.org. Opening Times: Thursday – Sunday from 11am to 4pm. Entry Fee: Included in cost of museum entry