We announced last year, following invaluable help from Arts Council England and Art Fund, the marvellous news that Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby, with direct connection to the Soper family, had become the new home for The Soper Collection.

We, the trustees, are delighted with the new home and that the collection is under the solicitous care of Pannett Art Gallery’s curator, Helen Berry. Consequently, we recognize that it is time to close The Soper Collection Charity as our aims that the Soper Collection be shown publicly and be used educationally are achieved.

Donated money, as announced previously, has been passed to Pannett Art Gallery. At the end of next month, on February 28th, the end of our financial year, the charity The Soper Collection will cease operation and all assets will be passed to Pannett Art Gallery. This website is part of the assets and therefore will still be accessible via: as the domain name is being kept but please note that contact information will necessarily change at 28.2.24.

All who have been involved to date please know that the help of all donors and supporters has been of great significance in bringing to public recognition the glorious work of the nationally important Soper family. DO PLEASE CLICK ON THE NEWSLETTER 2024 TAB FOR MORE DETAILS.

Don’t miss out on exciting future developments! To ensure the continuity of your interest in The Soper family art and to be kept informed of their forthcoming exhibitions and events, please go to Pannett Art Gallery’s home page on and sign up on their online form.



Exhibition of the Soper Heritage

Will enable the works of George, Eva and Eileen Soper to be enjoyed by all.

The Soper Collection is a charitable organisation established to provide a permanent exhibition space for over 700 original pieces of art by George Soper and his two daughters, Eva and Eileen. Eileen, the major illustrator for Enid Blyton, had devoted her art to so much else as well.

The Soper Collection Charity closes at 28.2.2024

Now Achieved

The Soper Collection will be shown in Whitby, North Yorkshire, where there is direct connection to the Soper family.  The work is illustrative of the richness and variety of our national life, countryside, wildlife and literature.

Our aim that The Soper Collection will be used educationally is also achieved, first use being in the national project ‘The Wild Escape.’  Future educational programmes will be developed for artists as well as art, history, country and wildlife lovers including adults and children of all ages.


Pannett Art Gallery, the new permanent home for the works of the Soper family, has exciting development plans.

The Soper Collection

With your help

Our exciting journey to provide a permanent public home for the works of the Soper family – Is Achieved.

With the help already given and with continuing help, now and for generations to come this collection will inspire the public of all ages, including professional artists, to be uplifted by and to learn from the styles and techniques employed by this reclusive and remarkable family.

Inspiration will not be confined to art but will extend to cover the many facets of cultural interest displayed by the Soper art.

From one exhibition, an idea was born…

The Soper Collection, comprehensively comprising original pieces in oil, watercolour, etchings, woodcuts, pencil, ink and other media, was compiled by John Baker and his wife Joy.

Following the hospitalisation of Eva and Eileen in 1989, the content of the Sopers’ family home was discovered to reveal a treasure trove of original artwork. After Eileen and Eva’s death later in 1990, their joint wills stipulated that each piece should be sold in order to raise funds for the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution. It was an initial exhibition in Lavenham in 1990 of George Soper’s working horse artwork that captured Joy’s attention. John was insistent that the entire collection should not be broken up and together they arranged to purchase 16 pieces.

The couple continued to purchase pieces as more of George Soper’s artwork was released. Soon Eileen’s work appeared in an exhibition and the Bakers were captivated all over again by the celebration of life and movement that was expressed through her work. They took out a mortgage to enable a collection of Eileen’s glorious wildlife work to be kept together with that of her father.

Sadly, John passed away in 1994 but with the hope that the collection would continue to grow and that one day it would be available for the public to enjoy. Joy continued to purchase the artwork, growing the collection to over 700 original pieces along with a huge array of memorabilia, some purchased and a mass being entrusted by Chris Beetles Ltd.

Side Barn, Horse Waiting at Yard End, Chickens
(cut wood block)

A Home Has Been Found!

The world’s largest collection of Soper artwork is now housed in its new permanent home, Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby, North Yorkshire, where there is direct connection between George Soper and family and the Whitby area. This wonderful home will, through the works in The Soper Collection, reveal the glories to be found in our gardens and countryside, in our classic adult and children’s literature, in Eileen Soper’s writing for nature lovers and naturalists, and will also reveal the beauty of our English language to adults and children of all ages.



Further donations will be used to expand and enhance the facilities at the Pannett Art Gallery.

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.

Please donate to The Soper Collection

Further donations will be used to expand and enhance the facilities at the Pannett Art Gallery.


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