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Explore Edward Bawden’s fascination with animals and discover how he used them across a range of media throughout his career.

Whether it’s a cast of bunny rabbits and woodworms advertising British Petroleum or an army of ants bearing mops on the cover of Take the Broom, a parody of Victorian morality tales he wrote for his children, Bawden used animals to tell stories with wit and originality in every discipline.

This exhibition presents over 60 works, including book illustrations, posters, drawings, wallpaper designs, and prints.

Wasps play tennis, seahorses serve sardines and cats dance the night away in his advertisements for Fortnum & Mason; Amos Shufflebottom, the dung beetle, was dreamt up while he worked away as a war artist in the Second World War; and his linocuts of Aesop’s Fables, including the Ant and Grasshopper, are Bawden at his most inventive.

The Higgins Bedford

Castle Lane, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 3XD

01234 718618


Opening times

Tue – Sat, 11am – 5pm
Sun and Bank Holiday Mon, 2pm – 5pm

Closed Good Friday and Christmas

Free to all

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