Artist Retrospectives III – Beatrix Potter

Recognize these faces?

Beatrix Potter was born outside of London in 1866. She was a scientist as well as a writer and illustrator. Every single one of you has heard of Peter Rabbit. That’s hers. Or perhaps you know the frog, Mr Jeremy Fisher. Tom Kitten. Or even Jemima Puddle-Duck.

I have the one of Mr Fisher that you see in the upper right

Odds are you had her story books, and probably toy versions of some of her characters. This lovable collection of anthropomorphic animals had adventures in Potter’s 23 Tales.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902. Potter passed away in 1943. Those were very productive years.

Peter, in his fancy blue jacket
Jeremy. Probably a tale of the one that got away.
Jemima. This can’t end well.
Everyone loves cat pictures!

We teach our children to use their imaginations as soon as they can recognize pictures. Sometimes before. Our minds are literally molded by those earliest experiences. We have no trouble anthropomorphizing just about anything. It’s how we’ve been indoctrinated.

So if you love reading Watership Down and playing Bunnies and Burrows, thank Beatrix Potter. If you love Redwall, if you play Mice and Mystics or Toon, if you were a backer on the DuckQuest QuackStarter, heck, if you’re a fan of Howard the Duck, Cerebus the Aardvark and the Ninja Turtles, look no further. It starts here, in childhood.

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