One hundred years after his birth, another exhibition commemorating Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson‘s work has just opened at Bourne Hall Museum in Ewell, Surrey. The museum just a hop and a skip from Bayford Lodge, Epsom, where he lived and worked for over 35 years.
The exhibition will until 12th March 2019. Although not large, the exhibition will have some interesting items of artwork and memorabilia on display, some included as a result of local appeals for memorabilia.
Frank Hampson came to Epsom in the early 1950s and was soon established in Bayford Lodge, which served as his home and his studio. There, for a decade, he created the strips that held the nation’s schoolboys (and others!) enthralled, as they waited eagerly each week for the latest edition of Eagle to learn whether Dan Dare, the intrepid space explorer, had survived his most recent mission.
An display includes original artwork which has been loaned by Peter Hampson, Frank’s son, including a front page of the Eagle – drawings of Treens, Therons and other alien characters from the comic – and covers drawn by Frank for the popular Ladybird books. Also on display will be the annuals which were such eagerly awaited Christmas presents, and comics which will bring back memories of trips to the newsagents to get a new copy, running back home to read the latest adventure.
“There will be many people locally who remember, for example, the staged fights with ray guns outside Bayford Lodge,” notes Museum curator, Jeremy Harte, “as Frank Hampson gathered material for the next instalment to go up on his drawing board’.
“Local publicity has already attracted a number of responses,,” Peter told downthetubes, “including a couple from art students taught by my father at Epsom School of Art.
“One describes him as the man who made him ‘the artist he has become’ and another sent an email giving a fascinating insight into my Dad’s time as teacher and his interaction with his pupils. He has kindly agreed to let me share this.
Click here to read the letter on the official Frank Hampson web site.
The Frank Hampson centenary exhibition at The Atkinson in Southport is also still on, of course – and runs until 16th March 2019. (Read our review here).
In related news, Frank Hampson illustrated several Ladybird children’s books and a few of the remaining artworks he owns are up for sale on the Hampson site.
Here’s one of Peter Hampson himself as a boy, with friends watching an artist at work, probably at least partly inspired by Frank himself, created for Ladybird’s “Key Words” title Out in the Sun.
• Frank Hampson Centenary Exhibition 4th December 2018 – 12th March 2019, Bourne Hall Museum, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1UF | More about the Museum on the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council web site here
• There’s a brief guide to Frank Hampson’s Epsom connections here on the Epsom and Ewell History Explorer web site
• The Official Frank Hampson web site is at frankhampsonartwork.co.uk
• Frank Hampson – The Man Who Drew Dan Dare – Saturday 15th September 2018 – Saturday 16th March 2019 – For more about the exhibition visit The Atkinson web site
• Dan Dare books on Amazon UK (Affiliate Link)
Dan Dare and Eagle © Dan Dare Corporation