The watercolours displayed at The Goose are original watercolour illustrations from the volume ‘The Isle of Wight’ published in 1950 as part of the King Penguin Series.

76 of these volumes appeared between 1939 and 1959, when rising costs brought the series to an end.

Jones was a graduate of the Royal College of Art, where she had been taught by and was therefore an acquaintance of, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.

She was also friendly with John Piper and as all three men had received commissions from Penguin, this may be how she received her introduction to do the Isle of Wight book.

In addition, her work would have been familiar to Penguin editors through her illustrations for the Architectural Press, the Society of Industrial Artists and the post war ‘Recording Britain’ project.

It would seem that the ‘Isle of Wight’ was commissioned in around 1946, at least letters between Jones and Osbourne House show that she sought permission to paint the State Apartments in October of that year. The book was published with a small print run of about 20,000. Records show that it sold slowly and that in December 1958 there were still 7,480 books in stock at Penguin, with sales of about 300 a year.

Jones was then and is now, less well known than her predominantly male contemporaries and this may account for slower sales of the book.

The attractive styling of the King Penguin Series meant that it won accolades at the time of publication and today the books are equally collected and respected as a record of mid 20th Century British design and illustration.

This series of watercolours records the Isle of Wight on the cusp of modern development. Some landmarks remain unchanged today, whilst this is an equally interesting record of many that are now very changed. The original watercolours for all of the book illustrations are here, bar one: that of Bembridge Sailing Club.

It would be our pleasure to welcome you to view the originals we have on display. Click the link below to find us.