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Discovering Britain through the Shell Heritage Art Collection 

To celebrate our new exhibition ‘Discovering Britain’ we have created an interactive map, exploring the British landscape through Shell’s 20th century advertising.

Travel through the 92 historic counties of Britain to view a selection of posters, guides, wallcharts and press advertisements from the Collection, that were produced to promote the British landscape, tourism and nature from the 1920s to the 1980s. ‘Discovering Britain’ is on show at Mottisfont from 6 May – 2 July 2017. 

John Armstrong: Dream & Reality, 5 June - 3 Sept 2017 

Theatre-Goers, John Armstrong, 1938

Four of our posters will be a part of this exhibition exploring the diverse work of John Armstrong. He painted three images for the Shell 'People Prefer' campaign and two landscapes for the 'Everywhere you Go' campaign.

The exhibition is supported by a display of work from Armstong’s contemporaries including Roland Penrose, Tristram Hillier and Marion Elizabeth Adnams.

Find out more from The Atkinson Gallery in Southport.

A new selection of 1920s Shell Lorry Bills at Upton House 25th March 2017 - 31st March 2018 

Artists Prefer Shell, John Armstrong, 1933

Over 30 original Shell lorry bills and paintings from our collection have been loaned to the National Trust in a new exhibition to celebrate former Shell Chairman Lord Bearsted’s ownership of Upton House. Walter Samuel inherited the title of Lord Bearsted and a love of art from his father Marcus Samuel, a co-founder of Shell. Walter exploited his chairmanship of Shell to foster young and contemporary artists who helped create our posters which spearheaded Shell’s distinctive marketing campaigns in the 1930s.

'A range of photographic exhibitions and Shell advertising posters from the 1920s will change throughout the year, shedding new light on what life was like for a home buyer in the late 1920s. You can be inspired by displays of fabrics, wallpapers and examples of exquisite taste. Understand about fashion trends and what it takes to create the perfect made to measure home.'

Find out more about the exhibition at Upton House 


'British Art: Ancient Landscapes' at Salisbury Museum 8 April - 3 September 2017 

Stonehenge, Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1931

This major new exhibition at Salisbury Museum looks at how the landscape has been a continual inspiration to artists across the centuries and particularly how they were shaped and marked by our distant ancestors.

In this exhibition, curated by Professor Sam Smiles, these unique artistic responses have been brought together to create a new discussion. Featuring the work of some of the greatest names in British art from the last 250 years; John Constable, JMW Turner, Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Richard Long, Derek Jarman and more, their work records and reflects on some of our most treasured ancient landscapes.

We have loaned posters titled 'Stonehenge' and 'Long Man of Wilmington' plus the original painting for the 'Cerne Abbas' poster, as contributions to this prestigious exhibition.

'Capture the Castle' at Southampton City Art Gallery, 26 May - 2 September 2017 

Harlech Castle, Charles Dominique Fouqueray, 1925

In the first ever large-scale art exhibition on the subject of British castles 'Capture the Castle: British Artists and the Castle from Turner to Le Brun' combines history with art to showcase the finest historic and contemporary castle artists. The exhibition conjures the mystique, excitement and prestige of the castle from Iron Age hill forts to Victorian reproductions and fantasy castles. 

It will include famous and rarely seen works from public and private collections, including two posters from our collection, loans from Tate, The British Museum, the V&A, the Government Art Collection and from the collections of major artists. Find out more about the exhibition here


Permanent Exhibitions

Shell Heritage Art Collection Exhibition at the National Motor Museum 

From the early days of motoring Shell’s advertising has encouraged a nation to explore the roads of the British countryside.  Take a journey through Shell’s innovative campaigns in a new display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, featuring original artworks, posters, early ephemera, Shell guides, film, sound and interactives for all the family. See visitor information here

Other venues

More Shell Heritage Art Collection items can be seen as a part of larger exhibitons at Nature in Art, Brooklands Museum and Mottisfont


Graham Sutherland - Life, Work and Ideas Publication 

Brimham Rock, Graham Sutherland, 1937

A new biographical study of respected artist Graham Sutherland titled ‘Graham Sutherland Life Work and Ideas’ will feature a copy of the poster he created for Shell in 1937 - no. 507 Brimham Rock. The author of the publication, Rosalind Thuillier knew Sutherland well (he died in 1980) and she describes not only his landscape inspirations from the Pembrokeshire countryside, but also his time as an official war artist, and his friendships inside and outside the art world.

The paperback and ebook is now on sale and available to order from Lutterworth Press


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