In the heart of the New Forest, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is an impressive shrine to the history of motoring in Britain. There are more than 250 cars and motorcycles, from the World Land Speed record breaker Bluebird, to the magical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But it’s also home to an important part of British motoring history that doesn’t ride on four wheels – the Shell Heritage Art Collection.
Comprising of around 20,000 pieces – including 8,000 posters, press advertisements, paintings and illustrations, as well as postcards, books and a unique series of Valentine’s Day cards – the collection charts the evolution of the Shell brand, from the early 20th century right through to the 1980s.
Melinda McCheyne, Promotions Manager for the collection, says: “It is one of the most important collections of commercial art in Britain; and we do think of it as art rather than advertising.”