Educational Prints

Fairy Tale Pictures

1960 (published)

William Francis Phillipps

Width: 53.3 cm single print, Height: 43.2 cm single print

B.402:1 to 14-2012 MoC

Set of colour prints from the Fairy Tale Pictures series, edited by E R Boyce, printed by Macmillan & Co, England, 1960

[Little Red Hen] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts a tidy bedroom with a patchwork bedspread, vases of flowers and neat furniture. In the centre, a bright orange chicken, wearing a bonnet and apron, flutters towards the ceiling, away from a sneaky-looking fox. The fox, with its pink tongue stuck out, holds a sack over its shoulder. [Rumpelstiltskin] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts the interior of a stone-paved cottage. A young woman with long dark hair sits, crying, in front of a spinning wheel. She is surrounded by bales of straw. The door is open and a small man with a large pointed hat, bright clothes and a horn has bounced into the room. He is lively and contrasts with her sombre attitude. [The Sleeping Beauty] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts the interior of a dark, stone room. The Sleeping Beauty stands, illuminated by light from the small window, in front of a spinning wheel. An old woman beckons her forward and indicates where to sit to spin. There are three small mice and a lapdog watching on. [The Three Little Pigs] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts a large grey wolf, standing with front legs on a garden gate, looking angrily at a pig in the upstairs window of a brick house. The scene is set in rolling green countryside, with houses, animals and trees in the background. [The Wolf and the Seven Kids] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts a large wolf in the foreground, with two paws on the window ledge of a wooden mountain chalet. He has large yellow eyes and long red tongue. Seven young goats look through the window, concerned. There is an alpine landscape in the background, and an adult goat eating from a tree. [Jack Seeks his Fortune] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts a boy in a red jacket with gold buttons, standing in a cottage with wooden floors and ceilings, in an atmosphere of chaos. A large gray bull walk towards the viewer on the right, a dog cowers under a table, which is covered with spilt coins, food and crockery. A cat licks its paws on a chair, a goat stands on the stairs, and a rooster jumps up alarmed. [Tom Thumb] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts a queen and king sitting behind a wide table, dressed with white tablecloth and gold tableware. A black servant plays with a monkey in the foreground. In the background, figures peep through doorways looking at the character of Tom Thumb, who is borne on a gold tray. He is wearing a yellow suit, and bows low towards the royal couple. [Puss in Boots] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts a medieval-style hall, with purple curtains and upholstery. The ogre sits in a wooden chair opposite the cat, who sits on a pile of books on a chair. The cat is speaking cheerfully, while wearing his red and blue boots. [The Gingerbread Boy] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts the gingerbread boy, a small biscuit come to life, laughing while running through a field, pursued by a fox. A river runs through the picture in the foreground, and a horse and a cow run in procession behind. Two people in the distance wave their arms in the air. There are pencil marks across the surface of the print. [Jack and the Beanstalk] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts Jack carrying a chicken, running through the giant's kitchen. The giant is slumped over the table asleep, with his mouth wide open as if snoring loudly. [Red Riding Hood] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts Red Riding Hood, carrying a basket, walking through a dark forest towards a small house. The wolf walks, on all fours, beside her, with tongue and teeth bared lasciviously. The trees are grass are busy with birds, squirrels, frogs and mice. [Henny Penny] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts a fox, with tongue sticking out, sitting on the verge of a path. On the path are two chickens, a duck, a goose and a turkey. Growing around the group are lilies, ferns, irises and strawberries. The style is painterly and humorous, and the perspective is compressed to create a bright, flat image. [Beauty and the Beast] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts the two characters seated in a luxurious room at a table laid with delicate sweets. Behind, a large window opens onto a rose garden. The beast, on the left, has a grey hairy face and mouse-like ears. He gestures towards Beauty, wearing a white and pink ball gown, who raises her hand and recoils. There is dark red paint across the print's surface. [Dick Whittington] Colour print on paper, with plain border and title printed at bottom. Depicts Dick Whittington, dressed in brown and red, with pixie-like features, sitting on a milestone under a tree, talking to a tabby cat. A winding road in the background leads past windmills and farms to London.

This set of Fairy Tale Pictures helped children learn to read in a East London primary school in the early 1960s. The educational publishers Macmillan & Co. produced many sets of brightly coloured classroom pictures from the 1920s, many in partnership with Ella Ruth Boyce. Popular illustrators created vivid and lively images to bring the accompanying printed books to life. This set was found in a school cupboard in the 1980s, by which time teaching methods had moved on, and the posters were considered dated and old fashioned.

These prints were used at Winsor School, East Ham, from 1961. The series had an accompanying book, also called 'Fairy Tale Pictures' which described the stories. The donor was a teacher at this school in the mid-1980s, by which time the posters had been put in storage and considered 'far too dated'. Fellow teachers told him that the posters were used to support the Gay Way teaching scheme in the early 1960s.

Given by Nicholas Munns

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website