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Once Upon A Time - The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford

Exhibition preview

THIS Christmas, Oxford’s North Wall Gallery is presenting a bewitching world of fairy tales – from Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin to Peter Pan and The Emperor’s New Clothes – as seen by artists and illustrators.

Brought to the North Wall by Blackwell’s Rare Books and Zuleika Gallery, the exhibition entitled Once Upon A Time traces the visual history of fairy tales and magical story-making through the work of artists and illustrators from the 19th century to the present day.

The exhibition runs at the North Wall from November 29, 2018 until January 5, 2019 and admission is free. All works are for sale.

Original prints, drawings and paintings by Sir Joseph Noel Paton, William Heath Robinson, Edward Sorel and EH Shepard are shown alongside work by contemporary artists such as Rachel Gracey and ceramics by Claudia Clare. Characterful illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark, Michael Foreman and Jonathan Langley include favourites such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and the Ugly Duckling.

The show also features around 50 rare books brought by Blackwell’s, many from the golden age of illustration. They include JM Barrie’s 1906 Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens with drawings by Arthur Rackham and a complete collection of Andrew Lang’s ‘rainbow’ Fairy Books. Newer publications include Diana Oliver’s sleeping doll ‘altered’ book and new editions including anthologies of Hans Christian Anderson and Angela Carter.

Image: Illustration from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Arthur Rackham, 1906.

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm, Saturday, 12pm – 4pm.

Tel: 01865 319 450


The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Oxford, OX2 7JN