1988 Beginning at Cobden Street
In Book Week 1988 Books Illustrated we opened as a gallery for children’s book illustration in a colonial workers cottage in South Melbourne – also the setting for Finding Jack by Ann J.
Celebrating the boom in publishing for children in Australia at that time, the first exhibition in 1988 was The Not-So-Shortlist Exhibition featuring illustrations from picture books entered into the 1988 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Awards. This exhibition went on to become an annual highlight in our program for the next twenty years!
Our small gallery soon became a hub for children’s book illustrators and the decision was made to establish the Society of Book Illustrators. The inaugural meeting was held at Books Illustrated in 1988. With over nine exhibitions a year, and the enthusiastic support of children’s literature enthusiasts, the gallery soon outgrew the little cottage.