Peter Rabbit comes home

Published : 31 Jan 2018

Over 200 objects from Beatrix Potter’s personal collection have returned to the Lake District following a successful exhibition in Japan.

A travelling exhibition

The items were away for 15 months and included original watercolours, ink drawings and letters by the well-loved author and illustrator. The loan was part of a year-long celebration marking the 150th anniversary of Beatrix’s birth, and showcased a significant number of original items from the Trust's Beatrix Potter collection. Many of these items had never left the UK before, including 44 black ink drawings Beatrix created for her first privately printed edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The collection of drawings, letters, toys and other Peter Rabbit items travelled to seven different venues in Japan, attracting 378,000 visitors before being safely returned to the care of the conservation team at Hill Top. Conservator Caroline Cotgrove flew out to oversee the final condition checks and to make sure the precious cargo was onboard its flight home.

Each item had to be painstakingly inspected for signs of damage before and after every location
Caroline conducting condition checks
" Beatrix Potter left the National Trust a large legacy and caring for her home, Hill Top, her personal possessions, original artwork and letters plays a role in preserving the cultural heritage of the Lake District. She was an amazing woman and we’re proud to be able to share her work, ideas and tales with people from all over the world."
- John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust’s Beatrix Potter places
Handled with care: the crated items undergoing their final airport checks before the long flight home
Beatrix's items being prepared for the long flight home

This year Beatrix’s letter detailing the Peter Rabbit story will be on display at the Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead, along with other original artwork relating to this year’s themed exhibition, ‘The Right Sort of Woman.’ The exhibition opens on 10 February and uncovers more  about Beatrix’s life and legacy as an esteemed member of the Cumbrian community.

Each item was carefully placed in custom made packaging in preparation for the journey ahead
Doll in custom packaging ready for transportation