Friday, 8 February 2008

More Gladys Peto

My previous post about one of my favourite illustrators, Gladys Peto, has proved one of the most popular, most landed-on-via-Google-search, posts in the history of Musings. For an artist at one time so successful and popular there's a surprising dearth of information about Peto or images of her work on the internet.

I've been much too busy with work and other stuff this week to spend any time writing blog posts, but scanning can be done on a multi-tasking basis and uses up only a very tiny percentage of my (already fairly tiny) brain.

So . . . da-daaaah! Here are some more pics from Gladys Peto's Bedtime Stories for your enjoyment.
If anyone knows where I can see some of Peto's textile designs (on the net, in a book or in real life), then please, please get in touch.

As this batch demonstrates, many of Peto's illustrations look like dress fabrics with a few stylised people thrown in almost incidentally.

As if it's almost a struggle for her to include a narrative content because her impulse is so predominantly decorative and two-dimensional.

(All I wanted in the whole world when I was about 8 was one of these rabbit suits . . . !)
I adore these pictures unconditionally because they never fail to take me back to precise points in my childhood, but my impartial adult eye is still capable of reminding me that Peto's figure drawing left rather a lot to be desired!

Anyway, while so heavily into this multi-tasking thing (though I've just noticed that 'drinking wine' has seamlessly taken the place of 'working' as the more complex and demanding simultaneous procedure - didn't even notice it happening! But it is Friday after all, so I'll let myself off), I have been scanning some illustrations from another delightful but rather forgotten vintage children's book. Watch this space.

(Click on the pics to enlarge.)


60goingon16 said...

'If anyone knows where I can see some of Peto's textile designs (on the net, in a book or in real life), then please, please get in touch.'

I'd probably start with the V&A Library in South Ken, Juliet. The library may well have what you're looking for but, if not, the brilliant staff will almost certainly be able to point you in the right direction. (One of my closest friends worked there for several years and I was always impressed by the individual and collective knowledge of those dedicated librarians!)

Anonymous said...

Juliet, I am stabbing this message into a ridiculously small PDA at Heathrow, on the cusp of a hopefully life-affirming trip to Mysore in Search outh India (visiting my mother's birthplace with my beloved sisters - expect great things on GICAD) and you have prompted me to unearth my precious Curly Pow book. never again have I been scared witless by the childhood dreams inspired by that book. like many others, I have enjoyed your Peto threads, and I think you are the annointed one to bring her works back into the jaded modern world. good luck. (sorry for shoite syntax - fat fingers, tiny keyboard)



Juliet said...

D - a very good idea indeed. I need to unglue my rear-end from my desk chair and do some invigorating real-life research instead of feeding my Google dependency!

Greg - bon voyage - hope you have a fantastic trip. Coincidentally, Diane, whose comment appears above yours has just returned from her own life-affirming visit to India in search of family roots - you will have to compare blogs on your return!

KSV Woolfoot said...

Hi Juliet - I am back touring your blog, and not just the Peto stuff this time. Your mention of my blog here had me go back to my old Peto posts and clean up some of the spelling I am not as patient about proofreading as I should be and it's sort of horrifying to see those errors. I love the scans here and I also love your blog; it appears we are on something of the same wavelength. Maybe there is something to astrology; I'm also an Aquarian. I have a little more Peto info. that might interest you. I don't want to clog up your commentary section; maybe I'll add it to my blog and you can see it there or you can email me at

Juliet said...

Hi again K - I will certainly email to say 'Hi' but it would also be lovely to see the Peto stuff on your blog when you have the time. There are a lot of people out there Googling 'Gladys Peto' every day, so you would have plenty of interest - not just from me!

Gladys Peto said...

Hello there,

Thanks for posting the Gladys Peto illustrations - they are delightful! You might be interested in visiting my blog, which is all about Gladys Peto and her work:

Kind regards and happy Easter!

Juliet said...

Hi 'Gladys' - what a wonderful website - thank you so much for sharing your amazing collection. There is, as I have lamented here, nothing like enough about Peto on the internet but you have certainly done a lot to redress the balance. I shall enjoy browsing through it all.

Gladys Peto said...

Thanks for your lovely comment Juliet. I'm very new to Blogger and haven't quite worked out how to get my own name to appear on my comments, rather than my blog title LOL!

Juliet said...

Hi Jeanette aka Gladys! Your site is fabulous. I'd like to give it a good plug on my blog, because lots of people seem to land here looking for Gladys. Would it be OK to borrow one of your pics (with full credits etc) to illustrate the post?

Gladys Peto said...

Of course - no problem at all!