Boy’s Own Paper – Doings at the Zoo – Brightwell

BoysownPaperVol61_p016Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p16

Leonard Robert Brightwell was an outstanding British etcher and illustrator of animal subjects, studying at the Lambeth School of Art, London. Countless visits to the Zoological Gardens, however, provided his most important artistic education. Brightwell became a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London in 1906 and a member of the Marine Biological Association in 1922. During the first half of the twentieth century he was commissioned by these associations and other museums to make scientific drawings of various forms of life, including extinct animals. Brightwell’s first illustrated book (A British Dog in France) was published in 1913. During the First World War (1914-1918) he served in the British Army. After 1920 Brightwell established himself as a major illustrator and as an author. Books written and illustrated by him include, A Cartoonist among Animals (1921), On the Seashore (1934), The Zoo You Knew (1936), Neptune’s Garden (1937), The Dawn of Life (1938), The Garden Naturalist (1941), The Zoo Story (1952) and Down to the Sea (1954). From approximately 1920 to 1932 L. R. Brightwell created a number of finely rendered etchings and engravings of animal life. All were published in London by James Connell & Sons in signed editions ranging from fifty to one hundred and fifty impressions. Taken  from: Art of the print

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p70

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p70 - Brightwell

In the Boy’s Own Paper, we see a lovely cartoon series by Brightwell, called “Monthly doings at the zoo”. I present them in order as they appeared in the BOP Annual volume 61. I can’t tell you which monthly versions they appeared in but I could hazard a guess, from the order they are printed in the Annual (and their labels)

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p130

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p130

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p210

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p210 - January

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p262 - February

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p262 - February

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p310 - Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p310 - March

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p375 - Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p375 - April

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p431 - Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p431 - May

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p479 - Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p479 - June

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p527 - Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p527 - July

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p575 - Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p575 - August

BoysownPaperVol61_p623Brightwell

Boys Own Paper Vol61 p623 September

For a bit more about Brightwell, see Steve Holland’s article on the Look and Learn site and his follow listing of Brightwell’s books on Bear Alley. One can still buy books by Brightwell including Zoo Calendar which may well be these illustrations and others.

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5 comments on “Boy’s Own Paper – Doings at the Zoo – Brightwell

  1. I have a signed original cartoon in my attic that was given to my grandfather by Brightwell. I think they served in WW1 together. Nice to read some background about the artist, thank you.

    • standby4action says:

      Hi Jonathan,
      Thanks for the comment. If you wanted to supply me with a scan/photo that you’re willing for me to share, I’ll add it to this post.
      Best wishes
      Standby4action

  2. […] Another quick Brightwell picture for the month of March (1940). I also have Boy’s Own Paper for November 1940 and his work does not appear there […]

  3. worldwarzoogardener1939 says:

    Lovely to see L R Brightwell get some coverage. I featured one of his wartime posters for ZSL London Zoo on my World War Zoo Gardens blog post a year or two ago as part of an ongoing research project into wartime zoos.
    You can see the picture ( from his Story of London Zoo book) at my blog
    Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo

    http://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/panda-tourism-and-pearl-harbor-a-wartime-perspective-from-world-war-zoo-gardens/

    • standby4action says:

      What a great blog, Mark. That Brightwell poster is really nice, isn’t it. I shall add to the Brightwell ‘archive’ when time permits as I do have more copies of Boy’s Own Paper (and other magazines in which his work appears). Thanks for making contact, Norman

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