Elmer's Art Parade

Petworth House
27 May 23  – 3 September 23
National Trust

Elmer's Art Parade at Petworth House and Park

In spring 2023, National Trust’s Petworth House and Park welcomed Elmer the Patchwork Elephant™, on a colourful sculpture trail through its Pleasure Gardens.

Launched on 27 May, coinciding with Elmer Day, the trail, inspired by one of the world’s most widely read and loved children’s books, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant™ by writer and illustrator David McKee, invited visitors to explore the winding paths, ancient trees, and colourful flowers around the gardens.

Ten Elmer sculptures were individually designed, inspired by the work of famous artists from across the world including William Morris, Yayoi Kusama, Frida Kahlo, and JMW Turner.

The colourful and joyous trail ‘paraded’ through Petworth’s gardens. The original classic, patchwork Elmer designed by David McKee stood proudly in the beautiful eighteenth century stone Rotunda, presenting the perfect photo opportunity for Elmer fans.

Joining the herd was a JMW Turner-inspired Elmer. Turner was a regular visitor to Petworth, and 19 paintings by the artist are on display in the house. Petworth is known as the ‘house of art’, and has a world class art collection, inspiring artists for generations.

Lily elmer at petworth

About Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

Elmer remains one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time, selling over 10 million copies worldwide since it was first published by Andersen Press in 1989.

Written and illustrated by celebrated children’s author and artist David McKee, the Elmer books have been translated into more than 60 languages and now new books, toys and clothing add to the world of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

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