Picturing Pickwick: The Art of The Pickwick Papers
Published in 1836, The Pickwick Papers formed Charles Dickens’s first novel. Filled with vibrant characters and iconic scenes, The Pickwick Papers helped to kick-start Dickens’s career, and continues to capture readers’ imaginations today.
Picturing Pickwick explores the illustrations of this incredible book, which began with a collaboration between Dickens and the illustrator Robert Seymour. The exhibition explores the close, but at times tumultuous, relationship between Dickens and his illustrators, and includes original illustrations of The Pickwick Papers, a page of the original manuscript, and historic monthly instalments of the story, some of which was penned here at 48 Doughty Street.
The exhibition showcases a series of works by Anna Marongiu, a Sardinian artist who created 262 illustrations of The Pickwick Papers between 1928–1929. These rich artworks depict scenes from the novel that have rarely been illustrated, and present a new perspective of Dickens’s first novel. This is the first time they have been on display in the UK and celebrate the unique talent of Marongiu, whose own life was tragically cut short by a plane crash when she was just 34.
The Pickwick Papers caused a sensation when it was published, inspiring ‘Pickwick Clubs’ and societies to be set up in honour of the work. The exhibition emphasises this legacy of the novel, featuring items including an 1837 Pickwick Club Minute Book, which captures the debates of one such society. The display will also note the international reaction to the novel, exploring how the story came to Sardinia, where it would inspire such incredible artistry within Marongiu.
The exhibition has been generously supported by the Dickens Fellowship, City Pickwick Club, Dickens Pickwick Club, Pickwick Bicycle Club and several individual donors.
This wonderful exhibition is running from 6th April 2022 to 11th September 2022, entry is included in your museum admission ticket. Book Now.