Looking in Wonderland
Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations to the Alice books
9 December 2010 – 6 February 2011
Some of the most famous children’s book illustrations in the world will come to Leamington this
Christmas. A selection of the best of Sir John Tenniel's illustrations to Lewis Carroll's two Alice books:
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872), will be on show at
Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum from 9 December 2010 until 6 February 2011.
The initial story was made up by Lewis Carroll for the daughters of the Dean of Christ Church
College, Oxford during a boating trip on 4 July 1862. One of them, Alice Liddell, requested that he
wrote out the story of the little girl who dreamt that she fell down a rabbit hole into Wonderland.
This story, published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, was an instant hit with children
and adults. A major part of the success was due to the unique and imaginative illustrations by
Tenniel. Before he was approached by Carroll to illustrate the story, Tenniel worked in London as a
political cartoonist for Punch magazine. The illustrations on display feature some of the most
memorable characters from the books, including Alice, the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. They
will sit alongside a display of printing materials similar to those used to create these detailed wood
The Looking in Wonderland exhibition also features a family Wonderland area where you can delve
into Alice’s magical world. This area will feature work by contemporary artist Katharine Waters, who
has been commissioned to create playful papier-mâché responses to the Alice in Wonderland
Dr Chloe Johnson, Senior Curatorial Officer, said ’We are delighted to have the opportunity to display
the work of the famous Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass illustrator John Tenniel
here at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum. The exhibition will include 42 of his exquisite and
best known wood engravings taken from the original box-wood printing blocks. We will also be
working with contemporary artist Katherine Waters to create a fantasy-like setting for the works. The
exhibition will appeal to those of all ages who love the adventures of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ and will be
popular with children and families as we approach the Christmas season.’
This exhibition has been created in collaboration with Dr Leo Defreitas from Graphicus Touring. Dr
Defreitas will discuss Sir John Tenniel’s works in an exhibition talk, The Making of the Alice
Illustrations, on Thursday 13 January, 6 – 7pm. £3 per person (free entry to FLAG members and
students). Places are limited, please call 01926 742700. Payment required to confirm booking.
Further information and images:
• Tammy Woodrow, Publicity Officer (email@example.com)
• Dr Chloe Johnson, Senior Curatorial Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) 01926
The exhibition is accompanied by a series of events:
• ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1903, 12 MINS)
will be screened at the Royal Spa Centre on 12, 16, 18 and 19 December. Please call their
Box Office for more information, 01926 334418.
• Children’s Printmaking Event
Saturday 8 January, 11am – 4pm
Explore printmaking and create your own fantastical illustrations inspired by Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland.
£8 per person. Recommended for ages 8 – 12. Places are limited, please call 01926 742700.
Payment required to confirm booking.
• THE MAKING OF THE ALICE ILLUSTRATIONS: EXHIBITION TALK
Thursday 13 January, 6 – 7pm
Dr Leo Defreitas will discuss Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s two imaginative
books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1872).
£3 per person (free entry to FLAG members and students). Places are limited, please call
01926 742700. Payment required to confirm booking.