Penguin Parade: Celebrating the Penguin Books Archive
Press release issued: 15 February 2012
An exhibition produced by the University of Bristol Penguin Archive Project opens at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) on 10th March 2012. Penguin Parade raises awareness of the extensive Penguin Archive held in the University of Bristol Library, Special Collections.
Starting with Sir Allen Lane, a Bristolian who founded Penguin Books in 1935, the exhibition takes a journey over time with highlights from the history of Penguin publishing and the way in which the design of the book covers and the expanding range of titles has continued to deliver broad public appeal over 75 plus years.
Penguin Parade includes highlights from the archive collection, some never before exhibited externally, loans from private lenders, and graphic representations of Penguin in its wider social context across different periods in time.
The displays will be packed full of interesting content covering the birth of the Penguin brand, Britain in wartime, the development of series such as King Penguins, Penguin Classics and Poetry, the handbooks that help you live your life ‘Penguin style’, and the multitude of children’s Puffin, Ptarmigan and Peacock picture and story book titles. Puffin has published some of the best known books for children, including those by Roald Dahl. There will be a dedicated children’s section where they can explore and listen to stories and develop their own book brand.
The development of the iconic Penguin brand is charted through the work of the designers Jan Tschichold and Hans Schmoller. The exhibition will reflect the strong use of colour adopted by Penguin – orange for fiction, green for crime and blue for biographies and the characteristic typography.
The 1960 trial of Penguin Books for the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is explored through first hand documents. Other highlights include original editions of Elizabeth David’s and Jamie Oliver’s cookery books, cover art from Penguin’s science fiction series and photography from the Penguin Book of John Lennon.
Overall, there will be a mix of striking imagery, rare books, posters, paintings and original marketing materials, unique printing blocks and bookcases, as well as the opportunity to browse books you may not have seen before.
The exhibition runs until Sunday 22 April, with a diverse range of events programmed. Just like the Penguin brand, the exhibition and events will provide a colourful visual feast targeted at the general public, with a particular focus on families and younger readers today.