Reg and Ann Cartwright Archive

The Reg and Ann Cartwright Archive contains material relating to Reg Cartwright’s illustrations and Ann Cartwright’s stories for children’s books, and also to Reg Cartwright's other commercial work.

Winter HedgehogIt includes a selection of original illustrations, with working drawings, proofs, and colour transparencies.  It also contains signed copies of each book illustrated by Reg Cartwright, including copies of translated works; the text for many of these books was written by Ann Cartwright.

Examples of Reg Cartwright’s other commercial work - children’s puzzles, illustrations for magazines, greetings cards and posters - are also included.  In addition, the archive incorporates correspondence, agreements with publishers and reviews relating to the Cartwrights’ various children’s books, along with exhibition catalogues and other papers relating to exhibitions of Reg Cartwright’s work.

Born in Leicester in 1938, Reg Cartwright is an award-winning painter and illustrator, whose work has been exhibited around the world.  He is perhaps best known as the illustrator of 40 books for young readers.  After leaving Gateway Boys School in 1954, he became an apprentice pattern maker in the shoe trade.  From 1957 to 1960, he carried out his National Service as a musician in the Leicestershire Regiment, serving in Cyprus and Germany.  On his return, from 1960 until 1976, he worked as a commercial artist and art director in Frank Gayton and Gee Advertising Studios, Leicester, exhibiting work at various galleries in London and Leicester from 1972 onwards.  In 1976 he took the decision to go freelance as a full time painter and illustrator.  He was asked if he could make a picture book based on one of his exhibited illustrations, entitled ‘The Pigeon Fancier’, and with Patrick Kinmonth he went on to create ‘Mr Potter’s Pigeon’, for which he won the prestigious Mother Goose Award for the most exciting new illustrator of children’s books in 1980.   This was followed by a whole string of successful picture books, many in collaboration with his wife Ann, whom he married in 1962 and with whom he has two sons.  Ideas for the books often come from walks in the Leicestershire countryside, where he and Ann live and work.  His work has been exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, in Japan and at the Museum of 20th Century Illustrators in New York.  His paintings have been used for a range of greetings cards and a variety of posters.  He also worked on the opening titles of the television series ‘Mapp and Lucia’.

Handlist of the Reg and Ann Cartwright Archive (pdf)

Online Reg and Ann Cartwright Exhibition (opens in new window)

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