The exhibition at Beatrix Potter Gallery

Visitors looking at open drawer of collections cabinet

Showcasing rarely seen delights, this exhibition takes us on holiday with Beatrix Potter at the gallery in Cumbria.

2015’s exhibition

This year we’re taking a trip ‘On Holiday with Beatrix Potter.’ This exhibition is a chance to see rare paintings, diary entries, sketches and photographs showing the inspiration for many of Beatrix’s famous stories.

Like many wealthy Victorians, the Potters could afford holidays. They usually went to the seaside for a fortnight at Easter, while the house was being spring cleaned. In the summer, they took another, much longer, stay in the country – to escape the smells of London. They often stayed in large houses in Scotland and the Lake District.

Inspiring landscape

The Lake District was a particular favourite of Beatrix, where she started to photograph, sketch and paint the views, flora and fauna. She took a lot of inspiration and ideas from the local surroundings, people she met and adventures she went on. Many of these went on to feature in her best-known and well-loved stories.

This year we have over 40 original illustrations from some of her best-loved tales on display, such as Jemima Puddleduck and Squirrel Nutkin, which feature scenes set in the Lakes and are rarely seen in public.

Hidden gems

You can also see Beatrix’s and her brother’s childhood collections cabinet on display, with a drawer open showing you some of the weird and wonderful things they picked up on their travels. The cabinet was given to the family of the Potters' coachman, and stayed with them until it was bought by the Beatrix Potter Society in 2012. The Society has been kind enough to lend it to us so you can see it today. Since being with us it has undergone conservation work to care for the delicate contents.

The young Potters' collection of butterflies, beetles, shells, eggs and fossils in this cabinet are brought to life through modern touchscreen technology in the gallery, so you can discover what lies in each drawer.

The exhibition runs until 2 November 2015.