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John Vernon Lord: A Catalogue of Life
17 September 2016 – 16 April 2017
Visitors to the museum may already be familiar with the 1972 classic children’s book ‘The Giant Jam Sandwich’, a constant best-seller in our shop. What they may not know is that the author and illustrator, John Vernon Lord, has long been a Ditchling resident and many of his illustrations feature buildings and landscapes inspired by the village and its surroundings.
In recognition of his contribution to Ditchling’s important printing history, our Wunderkammer plays host to a display of Vernon Lord’s illustrated diaries and notebooks. Made over the course of 56 years, the books feature pages of his recognisable style and contain over eight million words. Of the diaries, he has said:
Scribbling in them is something of an obsession, whether writing in them or drawing… Sometimes they are scribbled from life in family kitchens or gardens and some of them have been done during meetings. Many of them are imaginative pieces… [T]hey are drawings just done for their own sake, rather like exercising – to keep the fingers and brain nimble and to explore new technical ways of making images.’
Vernon Lord has taught illustration at Bright College of Art and Brighton University and has also written and illustrated a number of texts including ‘Aesop’s Fables’, ‘The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear’ and ‘Epics of the Middle Ages’.