EH Shepard: An Illustrator's War

The first ever exhibition of E.H. Shepard's illustrations from the trenches of the Great War

When, Where

See a different side to one of the greatest illustrators of the 20th century in this major exhibition of E.H. Shepard's war illustrations. Scroll down to book tickets.

Best known for his drawings for Winnie the Pooh and The Wind in the Willows, as well as his regular work for Punch magazine, E.H. Shepard also produced a substantial body of work while serving as an officer in the Royal Artillery in the First World War.

This exhibition is the first to explore Shepard’s illustrations drawn in the trenches on the Western Front and in Italy, and includes over a hundred original artworks - many never seen before.

Visitors will discover this vital and fascinating chapter in Shepard's life and career through technical drawings, personal sketches from the pocket books he kept throughout the war, and unpublished illustrated correspondence - as well as personal items including his paintbox, articles of his uniform, his maps of the trenches, and photographs from his family collection.

EH Shepard: An Illustrator's War presents the breadth and variety of Shepard's wartime illustration, produced for a range of purposes. As well as recording his experiences, he continued to work as a commercial cartoonist, regularly sending work back from the trenches for Punch and other publications.

Shepard’s skills as a draughtsman were also put to use during his service. He made precise topographical drawings for strategic use by his battery – including one that measures 1.5 metres long and depicts sites of battle in the Italian mountains.

All of this work is placed within the context of Shepard’s lifelong illustration career, from his early work to the first rough sketches for Winne the Pooh.

The exhibition will accompany the publication of Shepard’s War, to be published by Michael O'Mara Books on 1 October.

Image gallery

Video

Watch Chris Ridell discuss the power of seeing Shepard's wartime artwork for the first time: