image & reality

Explore the life of Beatrix Potter one of the most iconic and influential figures of the Lake District at the Armitt Museum.
Beatrix Potter was a member of the Armitt almost from its founding in 1912. She was a major benefactor and on her death in 1943 she bequeathed to us her exquisite botanical drawings and watercolours, together with her personal first edition copies of her ‘little’ books. With this archive together with material from the National Trust Archive, The Frederick Warne Archive, and the Beatrix Potter Society, we have created an exhibition on her life that is guaranteed to fascinate anyone who loves the Lakes.
Between 1888 and 1898 Beatrix Potter developed a passion for the study of mycology, culminating in her research paper on the germination of macro-fungi being presented to England’s oldest natural history organization, The Linnean Society in London. The intriguing outcome of her venture into Victorian science can be discovered in ‘Image and Reality’.
During this period she produced over 450 drawings and watercolours to support her research. These works have the almost unique distinction of being both scientifically accurate and beautiful works of art. She herself considered them to be amongst her best work. On her death she left her portfolios of mycological work to the Armitt and we are proud to be the custodian of her scientific legacy.
Beatrix Potter also had a strong entrepreneurial streak that lasted long after she lost interest in publishing. From 1913 she turned away from writing to take up farming in her beloved Lake District. This became her life.
In the final act of this singular journey she used her great wealth to buy up large areas of the Lake District, that she believed were at risk, with the sole purpose of leaving it all to the nation through the National Trust.
‘Image and Reality’ is Beatrix Potter’s remarkable story told through her own words and images and through the great wealth of archival material held at the Armitt; it is a portrait of an extraordinarily rich life lived during a period of great social upheaval.

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Pipistrelle and Long-eared Bats

Beatrix Potter

Pipistrelle and Long-eared Bats

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Molge vulgaris, Linn, smooth or common newt

Beatrix Potter

Molge vulgaris, Linn, smooth or common newt

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Common Bat, Pipistrelle, Flittermouse

Beatrix Potter

Common Bat, Pipistrelle, Flittermouse

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Eurypterid or Fossil of giant water scorpion

Beatrix Potter

Eurypterid or Fossil of giant water scorpion

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Three spined and ten spined sticklebacks or Gastroteus aculeatus and gastroteus pungitius

Beatrix Potterx

Three spined and ten spined sticklebacks or Gastroteus aculeatus and gastroteus pungitius

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Mucor

Beatrix Potter

Mucor

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Mucor

Beatrix Potter

Mucor

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Absidia

Beatrix Potter

Absidia

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Ten metal objects, knife blades, bent hatchet blade, hooks and chain, one wooden object, possibly a flute or a recorder type instrument and two teeth

Beatrix Potter

Ten metal objects, knife blades, bent hatchet blade, hooks and chain, one wooden object, possibly a flute or a recorder type instrument and two teeth

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Plain Samian dish sherd (Dragendorf 18R) from two angles

Beatrix Potter

Plain Samian dish sherd (Dragendorf 18R) from two angles

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled  Base sherd from two angles coarse-ware

Beatrix Potter

Base sherd from two angles coarse-ware

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Three remains of light brown leather corded sandals

Beatrix Potter

Three remains of light brown leather corded sandals

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Remains of black leather shoe  </h3>
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Beatrix Potter

Remains of black leather shoe

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Two decorated Samian sherds

Beatrix Potter

Two decorated Samian sherds

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Himeola auricula

Beatrix Potter

Himeola auricula

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Unknown

Beatrix Potter

UNKNOWN

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Psathyrella conopilus

Beatrix Potter

Psathyrella conopilus

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Amanitopsis vaginata

Beatrix Potter

Amanitopsis vaginata

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Lepiota friesii

Beatrix Potter

Lepiota friesii

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Lycoperdon perlatum

Beatrix Potter

Lycoperdon perlatum

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Hygrophorus puniceus

Beatrix Potter

Hygrophorus puniceus

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Flammulina velutipes

Beatrix Potter

Flammulina velutipes

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Flammulina velutipes

Beatrix Potter

Cortinarius torvus

Beatrix Potter

Amanita excels

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Hygrocybe coccinea

Beatrix Potter

Hygrocybe coccinea

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Lactarius blennius

Beatrix Potter

Lactarius blennius

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Boletus scaber

Beatrix Potter

Boletus scaber

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Amanita phalloides

Beatrix Potter

Amanita phalloides

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Lepitoa procera

Beatrix Potter

Lepitoa procera

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Amantopsis vaginata

Beatrix Potter

Amantopsis vaginata

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Clitocybe ampla

Beatrix Potter

Clitocybe ampla

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled Strobilomyces strobilaceus

Beatrix Potter

Strobilomyces strobilaceus

This is an image of Beatrix Potters watercolour titled

Beatrix Potter

Leccinum versipelle



F.A.Q

Below are some frequently asked questions that you may like the answers to

How long is the 'Image and Reality exhibition showing for?
This is a permanent exhibition - although it is intended that elements will change over time.
Is there car Parking at the Armitt?
There is a public (pay and display) car park adjacent to the Armitt and another immediately over the road.
What time is the last entrance to the exhibition?
The last entrance to the museum is at 4.30pm.
What does 'Armitt' mean?
Armitt is the name of three talented and highly educated sisters, originally from Manchester who moved to the Lake District in the late 19th century. They established a social circle which included the Rawnsleys, John Ruskin and Charlotte Mason. They established the Armitt Library in 1912.
Why is there an admission charge?
The Armitt is a registered charity and does not receive any public funding. The admission charge is therefore essential to maintain the museum and library.

Contact Us

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Armitt Museum and Library
Rydal Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9BL
Google Map

Tel: +44 (0)1539 431212

Email: info@armitt.com

Mon - Sat: 10:00am → 5:00pm
Sunday: Closed
Adults: £3.50
Concessions: £2.80
Children: FREE

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