All Creatures Great and Small

The Fan Museum

23 May – 16 September 2017

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £4)

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From the humorous to the curious, this exhibition explores fans that have been decorated with animals.

Animals have been a source of inspiration for fan painters throughout the centuries; in fact, all manner of beasts appear in this display of examples produced from the 1700s onwards. One highlight is an early 18th-century Dutch fan that has been delicately painted with pheasants, parrots and turkeys (at the time considered exotic, even collectable creatures).

Meanwhile, there are a number of pieces from the 20th century – a period when animal subjects became a distinct trend in fan art, allowing painters who specialised in capturing wild and wonderful creatures to carve out a successful niche.

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A piece featuring anthropomorphic cats and dogs that was created by one of the most celebrated animalier fan painters of the 20th century, Adolph Thomasse , continues to enchant fan collectors to this day.

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