3 Oct 2009

Tony Meeuwissen Retrospective Exhibition

50 Years of illustration and graphic art

Don't miss this great exhibition - this evening I went to the preview at the Museum in the Park - 50 years of Tony Meeuwissen's work (Tony pictured left). It was a little too crowded to see the pics so I will be back again v soon before it closes at the end of the month.

From album covers (incl a Rolling Stones album that Tony got paid nothing for) to Penguin book jackets, Royal Mail stamps to award winning books, Tony Meeuwissen's intricate and witty designs have delighted us for decades.

His V&A commissioned playing cards The Key to the Kingdom won him the WH Smith illustration award (see photo), and his Weather postage stamps were voted best loved stamps of 2001 (see photo below). Tony has lived in the Stroud hills and valleys for 30 years, but as the advert says "this exhibition gathers together the fruits of a lifetime spent in illustration and graphic art. A magical experience!"

An article I read says Tony is 70 but I can't believe that - his energy, humour and enthusiasm is wonderful - perhaps one of his best known works otherthan the cards is his novelty book Remarkable Animals from 1998 - with every page – or flap – of his wonderfully funny novelty book there features peculiar creatures and hilarious names as they swap body parts.

However it was great to see that the labels of the Winston and Newton ink pots I'd bought as a young fellow had been designed by him....and numerous other adverts and drawings that were familiar.

A couple of my favorites are shown above - the Gypsy Moth with her crystal ball and the Elephant Shrew - great stuff - Tony has a particular way he catches animals in his creations - and is also passionate about animals in real life - he was one of the founders of the local group Stop War on badgers - we met at his house to plan campaigns - he also helped design some of the materials for the badger campaigns - one of which I've reproduced badly here.


Mark D. Ruffner said...

I was introduced to Tony Meeuwissen's work about ten years ago when my brother gifted me with The Key to the Kingdom. What an exciting and inspirational gift those cards were! I found this blog as I was searching for more info on Tony, and I'm so glad I did! I look at those relatively small originals in the retrospective and smile because that's about the scale I work at, too. Thanks for a great posting, and congratulations on your re-election!


Philip Booth said...

THanks - Tony has another exhibition in Cirencester from 2nd October to 30th at the Corinium Museum.