The MAD Museum Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:10:56 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 February Newsletter Thu, 04 Feb 2016 14:59:23 +0000 February 2016- final for blog

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December Newsletter Mon, 07 Dec 2015 09:48:24 +0000 December Newsletter 2015 v3

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MAD Marbles Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:29:40 +0000 0 Visiting Us Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:40:46 +0000 Everything you need to know about visiting MAD!

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MAD Marble Wall & Track Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:27:45 +0000 Personalise your own marble wall and track parts, only at MAD.

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Who is Heath Robinson? Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:22:58 +0000 Read More »]]> The MAD Museum is currently displaying its first temporary exhibition – The Inventions of Heath Robinson.
On view until Sunday 22nd November ’15, this exhibition comprises of a special collection of illustrations, posters and books by the iconic British artists, Heath Robinson.
Due to the fact this exhibition is on, we thought we would answer the question…

Who is Heath Robinson?


William Heath Robinson (1872-1944)


Heath Robinson was a British cartoonist and illustrator best known for his humorous drawings of over-elaborate inventions which accomplish very simple tasks.

Now a household name, Robinson drew thousands of pieces of art, spanning two world wars, the Victorian age of the machine and the rise of modernism. These times are all reflected in his work and  the phrase “Heath-Robinson” became established in the English dictionary as a term for any over-complicated contraption in 1912.

Heath Robinson was born in 1872 into a long line of artists. After studying at Islington Art School and the Royal Academy, he started his career as a landscape artist. He had little commercial success and so began drawing book, magazine and newspaper illustrations. Robinson rapidly established himself as a talented and original practitioner, providing artwork for a number of books including ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ and ‘Water Babies’.

In the run up to and during World War One, Robinson started drawing a series of illustrations in magazines such as ‘The Tatler’ and ‘The Sketch’. They poked fun at modern living, carrying out normal tasks such as pancake making and potato peeling to outlandish extremes, often using complex and long-winded methods. Very quickly his work received popularity and Robinson became known as “The  Gadget King”.

He was one of the first artists to belittle the Germans in WW1, showing them using laughing gas to overcome British troops and parachuting in kettles of boiling water instead of firing bullets. These images brought welcomed comic relief to British soldiers and civilians and his ironic and bizarre depictions perfectly summed up the idiocy of war.

With the Second World War however, three of Robinson’s sons were enlisted and his gentle humoristic illustrations ventured away from mocking the Nazis. Robinson called it “the disastrous war”.

Heath Robinson went on to concoct weird and wonderfully overcomplicated contraptions until he passed away in September 1944 .

Often compared to his American counterpart Rube Goldberg. Robinson and  Goldberg essentially depicted the same kind of whimsical devices, their main difference being Goldberg was a trained engineer and his creation were more sensible and practical while Robinson’s conveyed British humour, exaggerated imagination and the artistic skill of a classically trained illustrator.

Heath Robinon’s importance as an innovator in the fields of illustration and advertising was considerable and his complicated inventions provided a source of inspiration for the Founder of The MAD Museum, Richard Simmons, as well as the creators of Wallace and Gromit, Monty Python and many other artists, designers and engineers around the world.

BeFunky Collage

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October Newsletter Thu, 01 Oct 2015 13:13:03 +0000 October Newsletter 2015. for blog and socials

Zoom in and read it in full here… October Newsletter 2015

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MAD wins at The Coventry & Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Awards 2015 Tue, 29 Sep 2015 09:06:09 +0000 Read More »]]> The MAD Museum wins the Bright Ideas Award

* originality * inspiration * new thinking * game changing business

The glitzy night was organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire chamber of Commerce. 13 prestigious awards and a whole host of respected individuals and companies attended this celebrated black-tie event.
The MAD Museum was a finalist for two awards and up against some seriously stiff competition, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Warwick Arts Centre to name but a few. We were incredibly shocked and delighted when we found out we had won the Bright Ideas Awards.

It was a big night for us at MAD and Richard and Simon gave a rather excitable acceptance speech which was referred to as the ‘best speech of the night’. A few jokes were cracked and Richard concluded by donating free tickets to everyone in the room. It’s safe to say everyone in the room understood how we got our name.

From the team at MAD, we would like to thank everyone who has supported our museum.


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Winner of the 2015 Summer Design Competition Fri, 11 Sep 2015 15:06:09 +0000 Read More »]]> From Saturday 18th July until Monday 7th September 2015, The MAD Museum held a Summer Design Competition.We asked interested applicants to examine and interact with the museum’s  MAD Marbles wall, then design a new track part.
Over this 7-week competition hundreds of people entered in their inspirational creations. The judges found it incredibly difficult to pick just one winner. So hard in fact that they chose 3 winners.

The Winners of MAD’s 2015 Summer Design Competition are:

Chris Hansford, aged 45yrs from Doncaster
Felix Burman, aged 10yrs from Temple Grafton
Max Hansford, aged 12yrs from Doncaster

The judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and imagination of the winner’s designs. Each of the 3 entries (as you’ll see below) show imaginative ingenuity and demonstrate a practical understanding of design.
All 3 winning pieces will be made, then featured on the museum’s MAD Marbles wall for all our visitors to enjoy. The winning pieces will be engraved with each designer’s name so that everyone will know it’s theirs. Not only that but Chris, Max and Felix all won goodie bags full of MAD prizes.

Winner: Chris Hansford – ‘Trampoline- track part


Winner: Felix Burman – ‘Steps, Curves & Hoops’ track part


Winner: Max Hansford: ‘Fallen Floors’ track part

There were only three winners but we want to show our appreciation for the judge’s other favourites. All of the following participants created amazing track pieces, all of which stood out from the crowd and amazed our judges in different ways.

Harry Corden, aged 18yrs
Clare Childs, aged 35yrs from Belfast
Joseph Dineen, aged 9yrs from Ashurst

From the team at MAD we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who entered!

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September Newsletter Thu, 10 Sep 2015 16:28:52 +0000 September Newsletter 2015 v3

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