Marie Neurath: Picturing Science exhibit

We are collaborating with the University of Reading’s Department of Typography & Graphic Communication on a project to raise the profile of children’s books produced by Marie Neurath and her team at the Isotype Institute between the late 1940s and early 1970s. The theme follows on from the Isotype revisited research project (2007–2011). 

The collection, given to the University of Reading by Marie Neurath in 1971, is the most comprehensive archive of the work of the Isotype movement, documenting methods of designing and disseminating data that have played a major role in twentieth-century graphic design thinking.

This exhibition is about the work of Marie Neurath and her colleagues at the Isotype Institute in London. They produced over 80 illustrated children’s books between the end of the 1940s and the start of the 1970s. The books are the result of close collaboration between scientists, illustrators and writers.

Marie Neurath was involved in all stages of the work, as demonstrated by the remarkable materials in the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection at the University of Reading. The collection contains source materials, correspondence, drawings, and specifications for print that together show how the books were made. 

‘Marie Neurath: picturing science’ is part of the AHRC-funded project, ‘Transforming science for young people: Marie Neurath and Isotype books for children’. The project aims to find new audiences for the approach to science communication taken by Marie Neurath. 

The exhibition at House of Illustration will display books from several children’s book series, including ‘Wonder world of nature’ and ‘Wonders of the modern world’, and materials that explain the process of designing. Also on display will be worksheets and other materials created for use in schools today, based on Marie Neurath’s illustrations.