James Henry Pullen: Inmate - Inventor - Genius

Watts Gallery – Artists' Village

19 June – 28 October 2018

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Discover the life and work of the ‘Genius of Earlswood Asylum’ in the first ever gallery show dedicated to James Henry Pullen.

James Henry Pullen, The State Barge, 1866-7

Although famous for being an ‘idiot savant’, we now know Pullen most likely suffered from a severe communication disorder which saw him institutionalised for over 60 years.

While in Earlswood, he was trained in the carpenter’s shop, and soon became known for his expert craftsmanship in model making. His remarkable skill drew the attention of royalty; Queen Victoria received his drawings and King Edward VII sent him tusks of ivory to work with.

This exhibition explores the deeper context for his working practices, influences and inspirations.

Venue information

Opening times

Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)