See inside the new Seven Stories Betty Larom exhibit featuring beloved Harry Styles artwork

Harry Styles was seen wearing a t-shirt with one of Betty Larom’s stunning illustrations

Two iconic artists who have inspired generations of children to read will be celebrated in a new exhibition at Seven Stories.

The work of Betty Larom and Neville Main, famous for their comics and nostalgic illustrations, will be on display at the Ouseburn Museum and Visitor Center dedicated to children’s literature.

Betty Larom’s famous post-war stories include “Twinky” and her iconic adorable horse illustration was even featured on a t-shirt designed by Molly Goddard and worn by Harry Styles. The former One Direction star donned the top during her “Boyfriends” music video in June 2022 much to the delight of Betty’s family.

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Betty’s daughter, Carol Baldwin, said: “My brother and I are thrilled to have Seven Stories show the books and works of our mother and stepfather. The exhibition presents a brilliant time for the development of books and children’s comics, in which they both played major roles.

“We were amazed when Molly Goddard contacted us last year and told us she loves mum’s books and wanted to put Twinky on her clothes. Next thing we know, Harry Styles is asking permission to wear it in a music video!

“My mum would have been delighted and very surprised that Molly loved her books and that Harry Styles had chosen to wear the Twinky top 72 years after my mum had first created the little character. She would have loved that the little horse was still doing fun for kids all these years later – and now adults too!

The exhibition, which opens to the public today (August 8), will feature the ‘Twinky’ illustration, as well as items from the archives of the two artists in the Seven Stories collection. Until January 2023, visitors can expect a commentary from British designer Molly Goddard, as well as interactive elements for children.

Seven Stories will host special events to celebrate the opening of the exhibit, including themed storytimes and t-shirt making sessions for all ages. And those looking to get their hands on exclusive Betty Larom merchandise will be able to purchase items from the Seven Stories Bookstore and the new online store launching Tuesday, August 9.

Wendy Elliott, CEO of Seven Stories, said: “The new Seven Stories exhibit showcases a truly exciting period in children’s literature and two prolific artists who have had a significant impact in the field. The post-war stories and art of Betty Larom and Neville Main influenced decades of artists who succeeded them and introduced us to the worlds of Twinky, Jimmy, Happy and Butterball, and Tufty among others: generating a love of reading for generations of children – including Molly Godard.

“Betty’s books highlight the importance of ‘celebrating our differences’, which is close to our hearts at Seven Stories. We hope this nostalgic and eye-catching exhibit inspires and entertains visitors of all ages this summer.

Seven Stories will also be holding a raffle for one of the T-shirts worn by Harry Styles in November.

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