Edward Lear (1812 – 1888) is known around the world as a prolific nonsense poet, especially as the author of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat and many other limericks and songs. Ikon presents the first exhibition dedicated solely to Lear’s sketches and landscape drawings, tracing his journeys through Europe, the Middle East and India across many decades.
Moment to Moment features nearly 60 works by Lear, many exhibited for the first time, and borrowed from collections in Europe, the US and the UK, including Yale Center for British Art, Houghton Library at Harvard, Tate, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Gennadius Library and the Ashmolean Museum. The exhibition reveals Lear’s compulsive drive to depict and evoke the present moment through his in-situ drawings, illuminating his experimental methods of composition, successive drafts, doodlings and written marginalia.
The exhibition is co-curated by Matthew Bevis, Professor in English Literature, University of Oxford (research project: Knowing Edward Lear) and Jonathan Watkins, Ikon Director.
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Ikon is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Birmingham City Council.
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