Little Works of Art

01 October 2019

In the depths of the archive collection at Preston Park Museum and Grounds, we found these little autograph albums filled to the brim with sketches, jokes, poems and advice. Here we take a closer look at the little works of art.

These little autograph albums date between 1891 and 1941 and cover a wide variety of events. The books were given as gifts to family and friends who in turn filled the pages with verse, drawings, paintings, signatures, jokes and poems over the years. The drawings are done in pen, ink and pencil, with most of the art like cartoons and snapshots of daily lives.

These little works of art give us an intimate look into the lives of various groups of friends living at the turn of the century and cover both the First and Second World Wars. Some jokes are repeated throughout, showing their wide appeal and popularity.

Personal notes were recorded by friends and many names appear across the albums, mostly from the Stockton-on-Tees area. One of these albums was dedicated to the signatures and verses of soldiers serving in the First World War, passing through the Stockton Borough and recording there various battalions, regiments and there home location. The autographs were collected by Margaret from Stockton.

The books were donated to the museum over thirty years by different families and as far as we know are not connected to each other. They continue to guard their secrets giving us only glimpses of the past.

All images courtesy of Preston Park Museum and Grounds.