Wonder and Whimsy: The Illustrations of W. Heath Robinson

March 4, 2017 - May 21, 2017

In America for the first time, this retrospective features the work of an important turn-of-the-century British illustrator. During his lifetime, W. Heath Robinson (1872 -1944) was ranked with Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac as one of England’s foremost illustrators. Beginning in the 1890s, Robinson developed a linear style inspired by the innovations of the Pre-Raphaelite illustrators and the Art Nouveau creations of Aubrey Beardsley and others. He illustrated a broad range of texts, including William Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, and the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. In addition to children’s books he wrote himself, Robinson is best remembered today for his humorous depictions of Rube Goldberg-like contraptions and gentle satires of contemporary life. Audio tours available. 

To view large images and caption information, click below.

Exhibition-Related Events


From Bag-Bird to Blue-Beard: W. Heath Robinson and the Trans-Atlantic Gift Book Craze, 1902–1921
Saturday, March 4 | 2:00 p.m.

Curator Conversations
Sundays, March 26, April 23, and May 7 | 2:00 p.m.

Art is Tasty
Friday, April 7 | Noon


The Snow Queen: A Performance by the Delaware Arts Conservatory
Sunday, April 9 | 2:00 p.m.

Concerts on Kentmere: Illustrating the Genius of W. Heath Robinson
Thursday, April 27 | Curator talk: 7:30 p.m.; Concert: 8:00 p.m.

Shakespeare Shorts: A Performance by the Delaware Shakespeare Festival
Thursday, May 11 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Glory of Stories
Fridays, March 10 and April 7 | 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Studio: Storybook Illustration
Sunday, March 12 | Noon – 3:00 p.m.

Mother’s Day Weekend Fairy Tea
Saturday, May 13 | 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Art Nouveau Inspired Pen-and-Ink Drawings
Saturday, April 22 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


Wonder and Whimsy: The Illustrations of W. Heath Robinson features over 65 illustrations, designs, and drawings created by W. Heath Robinson from the collection of the William Heath Robinson Trust (UK). This exhibition is made possible in Delaware by the Emily du Pont Memorial Exhibition Fund. Additional support was provided, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.