“Quentin Blake’s Friends” exhibit at Museum Meermanno The Hague


Last summer, during my handlettering workshop at CREA, I first heard of Museum Meermanno. A museum completely dedicated to books: I needed to go there asap, especially when I found out that they were having a Quentin Blake exhibit.


As you can see, the museum building is an attraction in itself. I as usual went “Yup, sure, I’ll move in!”, but I don’t think they were looking for a live in caretaker at the moment. Or at all. Anyway, the museum was a lot larger than I had expected, so I decided to see the temporary exhibits first. Should I run out of time, I would just come back some other time to see the permanent exhibits.

In this day of “there are no rules, walk into an exhibit any way you want”, I am always happy to see clear directions. And arrows.

I love that they thought of their target audience and had these little foot stools everywhere.

What I really liked about this exhibit is that they didn’t only show finished work, but also a lot of works in progress. Quentin Blake takes you with him through his work process and explains why he made certain decisions when creating certain characters. He also shows that sometimes creating illustrations is quite literally trial and error, which is encouraging to anyone who tries their hand at creating things.

This fish is everything. <3!

A close up of an original illustration from his very first book. You can still see the white out!

One of my favorite illustrations from ESIO TROT, a charming story with a happy end. Yes, even for this tortoise.

Early character sketches for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The sketch and the final published illustration.

A self portrait.

This extensive exhibit chronicles his entire career up to now, and not only features finished drawings and works in progress, but also books and (video) interviews. However, since this exhibit is still on until 3 March 2019, I’ll leave it at this short impression. If you have the chance to go to Museum Meermanno in The Hague and see it for yourself, please do. You won’t be disappointed!


Museum Meermanno (English site)

Quentin Blake’s awesome site

Note: Like all my posts in the “Get out of the house!” series, this activity was booked and paid for by me, after which I got stoked and decided to write about it all by myself. #nospon