The Soper Collection

The Bridge at Staithes (1902), by John Bowman

We are delighted to announce that Pannett Art Gallery’s Collections are now further enriched by the Loan of The Soper Collection. 

This remarkable, many-faceted collection of the artwork of George Soper (1870-1942) and his two daughters, Eva (1901-1990) and Eileen (1905-1990), was formed to increase awareness of these wonderful artists, to showcase the quality and diversity of their work, and to inspire future generations.


The Bridge at Staithes (1902), by John Bowman
The Bridge at Staithes (1902), by John Bowman

George Soper

GEORGE SOPER is revered for his beautiful portrayals of The Working Horse. He had a direct connection with Whitby as old Whitby Gazette records state that Mr. Soper and family visited the town in 1911,1912 and 1913, when he produced a series of prints documenting local industries.

His sympathies were those of The Staithes Group of artists.  His skill in capturing atmosphere, life, and movement links us to our rural and farming heritage.

The Pannett Gallery is pleased to be able to share these artworks with a wider audience, revealing George’s incredible draftsmanship and treatment of colour.

Eileen Soper

EILEEN SOPER is best known for being Enid Blyton’s major illustrator of ‘The Famous Five’ characters in all their escapades.  Eileen also illustrated Blyton’s Nature Readers and created the 60 accompanying, now much-sought-after, wall charts, used in schools for many years, as well as illustrating many other books and pamphlets for adults and children. 

This work would have been more than enough for most artists, but as a result of her extraordinary empathy with the birds and animals of the Soper home surroundings, Eileen also created a range of remarkable wildlife art, and wrote and illustrated her own wildlife books, and fiction books for children.

Eva Soper

EVA SOPER modelled the birds for the delightful figurines produced by The Royal Worcester Porcelain Company. 

These exquisitely painted and lifelike creations were in production for 49 years from 1937 – 1986.  They were all inspired by the birds dwelling in the shelter and seclusion of the family garden.

Visit the Pannett Art Gallery to explore and enjoy these wonderful artworks.  Our art and literary heritage is greatly enriched by these dedicated artists.   It is difficult to believe one family achieved so much.  

For more information click on this link to The Soper Collection website: 

© All images are courtesy of the Chris Beetles Gallery on behalf of the AGBI
The Famous Five®, Enid Blyton® and Enid Blyton’s signature are Registered Trademarks of Hodder & Stoughton Limited. Text and illustrations © Hodder & Stoughton Limited.
Enid Blyton® and Enid Blyton’s signature are Registered Trademarks of Hodder & Stoughton Limited. © Hodder & Stoughton Limited.