Surreal study, 1952. Creator: Shirley Markham
Surreal study, 1952. Illustration for a poem by TS Eliot. Shirley Markham (1931-1999) studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central School of Art in London from 1950-1952. The writer, artist, poet, and illustrator Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was one of her tutors, and her style of drawing was also influenced by other British illustrators such as Edward Ardizzone, Quentin Blake and Edward Bawden. Markham spent time in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy, and also visited Rome, sketching classical buildings. After graduating from Central, she worked as a graphic designer, producing book illustrations, cartoons for comics, menus and programmes. She gave up her promising career however when she got married in 1957. Middle-class women at that time were expected to devote their energies to bringing up children and running the home, and despite her obvious talent, she lacked the confidence to return to illustration. Her portfolio remained in the family attic for many years, but now her work is published here for the first time.
© Shirley Markham Collection / Heritage-Images
'Nose, Nose, Jolly Red Nose' - Victorian nursery rhyme illustration
Two medieval men sit at a table discussing the bright red nose adorning one of them. He appears to be a bit of a drinker, judging by the size of the beer tankard in front of him.
“Nose nose jolly red nose - And what gave thee that jolly red nose? - Nutmegs and cinnamon spices and cloves - And they gave me this jolly red nose.”
From “Nursery Rhymes - Ridicula Rediviva” illustrated by J.E. Rogers, with chromolith printing by R. Clay Sons & Taylor and published in London in 1876 by Macmillan and Co.
Koala sleeping. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is relatively sedentary and sleeps for up to 18 hours a day. This is due to its poor diet, which consists mainly of the leaves from a few species of eucalyptus trees. It is arboreal (living in trees) and inhabits the forests of Tasmania and eastern Australia, living alone or in small groups. Photographed in Sydney, Australia.
© Louise Murray/Science Photo Library