The World of Brian Wildsmith

Painting of 2 owls with a blue paint background
Paws, Claws, Tails & Roars © The Brian Wildsmith Estate, 2024. Reproduced with permission of The Brian Wildsmith Estate and Oxford University Press.

World-renowned children’s book author and illustrator Brian Wildsmith will be celebrated through two new exhibitions at The Cooper Gallery and Experience Barnsley Museum. Displays will be awash with the vibrant palette and limitless imagination which were so recognisable in Brian’s beloved books, including his ABC, The Owl and the Woodpecker, Jungle Party, and many more.


Coming Home: The Life of Brian Wildsmith

We tell the inspirational story of Brian’s life and career, from his childhood growing up in the mining communities around Hoyland and Barnsley to his first break into publishing and travels to Hollywood.

The exhibition contains memorabilia, photographs, drawings and original artwork from the Brian Wildsmith archive and private collection. His life is a fantastic tale in itself!


Paws, Claws, Tales & Roars: The Art of Brian Wildsmith

For the first time Brian’s personal collection of over 40 colourful original illustrations, early works, drawings and paintings will be on display in the beautiful setting of the Cooper Gallery. The walls will be filled with colour and vivid characters. It’s a perfect destination for art lovers of all ages and our younger visitors can enjoy our specially created forest activity area ‘Brian’s Wild Wood’, upstairs in the Sadler Room.

Free entry during museum hours.