Shell Heritage Art Collection News

Summer Activities

This August, visitors to the National Motor Museum took part in a range of ‘drop in’ creative summer activities inspired by the 90th anniversary of Golden Arrow breaking the land speed record.

Sponsored by the Shell Heritage Art Collection and the Caravan and Motorhome Club, families were inspired by our collections and discovered how a need for speed has influenced design, technology and entertainments before and since Golden Arrow’s record breaking run.

Participants could enter their fabulous creations into the Creative Fun Competition to win great prizes from Shell Heritage Art Collection, the Caravan and Motorhome Club and National Motor Museum.

Summer workshops
Shell summer workshops at National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

Tuesdays: NMMT – Be inspired by the story of Golden Arrow and create your own spinning picture (thaumatrope) or build your own car using K’nex.

Wednesdays: Shell – Design and decorate a game to Test Your Nerves!

Thursdays: CMHC – Build and decorate your own Caravan reversing challenge game.

The activities were included in the price of the admission ticket to Beaulieu. You can vote for the best designs via the Beaulieu Facebook page

Oak Lodge Poster Art Project

Pupils of Oak Lodge, a Specialist Arts College for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities have been working with the Shell Heritage Art Collection at the National Motor Museum Trust, Beaulieu for the last six months. The schools nurturing and therapeutic learning environment encourages creative learning and they were really pleased to be invited to work on this collaborative project to create a contemporary transport poster inspired by the Shell collection.

Pupils visited the Shell exhibition at Beaulieu to view the iconic posters, find out about some of the artists involved and learn the history of Shells advertising. They also looked closely at some of the museums vehicles such as the 1907 Gobron Brillie fire engine, the 1901 Columbia Electric and Willy’s Jeep. The students, who come from the New Forest based school, have a range of needs including Autistic Spectrum Condition; social, communication and sensory needs; severe, moderate and specific learning difficulties and mental health needs. Supported by Oak Lodge staff their day at the museum also included sketching in the gardens, viewing the Abbey and Palace House.




On their return to school pupils used their sketches and photographs to work and develop ideas in their sketch books, which all contributed to their GCSE Art coursework.  They then explored a range of different media to produce their final designs from printmaking, textiles, painting to drawing.  The finished artworks were placed within the traditional Shell poster frames with the pupils carefully considering the wording, style and colour of the text to complete their poster graphics.




Shell Heritage Art Collection Manager, Nicky Balfour Penney, said

“It was a real privilege to meet and work with these young adults, the diversity and skill shown in their finished artwork is so impressive, they have executed the brief we gave them brilliantly. We very much look forward to working with pupils from Oak Lodge again in future collaborations.”

Coming up in 2020 – The Art of Advertising: 100 Years of the Shell poster

This unique centenary exhibition celebrates the Shell Lorry Bill through the display of 100 Lorry Bills from the Collection, alongside original paintings, film and memorabilia, and digital online content. The content will focus on the Golden Age of the poster, during the interwar years, and is co-ordinated by theme to encapsulate the illustrious breadth of the Lorry Bills. It considers the impact that the Lorry Bills have had upon the history of British commercial posters and reflects how people interact with and interpret the Lorry Bills today. Find out more on our ‘New for 2020’ page.

People Prefer – help us select your favourite posters for exhibition

Shell poster number 1, Five cans SHELL (1920) by Shell Studio. A simple but striking design showing five petrol cans pouring into the letters SHELL.As part of our centenary exhibition in 2020, The Art of Advertising: 100 Years of the Shell Poster  we want you, our audience, to choose your favourite poster to be included in the display. Throughout the year ahead we will be running a series of polls on social media. The results of the selected posters will be listed on the ‘New for 2020’ page.

To take part in the polls please follow us on our Twitter page.

University of Copenhagen learning from Poster Exhibition

photograph of Spot On! British posters of the interwar years at Copenhagen University.
Spot On! British posters of the interwar years at Copenhagen University. Image credit: Line Hjorth Christensen

Continuing through 2019 the exhibition Spot On! British posters of the interwar years was reinstalled at the Uni­versity of Copenhagen, Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics (NorS).  Originally curated in March 2017 the exhibition displays many original Shell posters,  and is still very popular with staff and students.

The exhibition was included in a BA course on cul­tural mediation, prompting new co-curated activities, a student-made catalogue plus a caption-writing project.  The curatorial process included installing a newly added section on Danish posters from the interwar years. Short videos/spots of the exhibition were also filmed and edited by students as part of the course curriculum.

You can see older news in our News Archive

If you would like a copy of any of our images, please visit our dedicated Motoring Picture Library website