A £350,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was awarded in 2013, to help save the personal archive of Rex Whistler for the nation. The Salisbury Museum  purchased the archive, which contains over 1,000 items and is the only substantial collection of material relating to Rex Whistler in existence.



The highlights of the archive, assembled by Whistler’s brother Laurence after his death, include:


• drawings for the Tate Restaurant mural - In Pursuit of Rare Meats, completed in 1927

• portraits, advertisements, stage sets, book jackets and illustration

• designs for Shell Petroleum and the Post Office

• diaries and letters - many of which have never been seen in public before

• personal sketchbooks from throughout his life, including one he left on a train en route to Munich in 1929, which found its way back to his brother in 1958

• Sketches that he submitted to the annual Royal Drawing Society competitions for which he almost invariably won prizes

• Originals of book illustrations for Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Legends

• Annotated sketches and portraits of Whistler himself and his friends


Pages from Rex Whistler's Royal Drawing Society official drawing book 1920 (aged 15)

Rex Whistler Archive, Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum