There have been four major John Johnson Collection exhibitions in the Bodleian Library:
The Art of Advertising (2020–2021)
The Art of Advertising tells the story of British advertising from the mid 18th century to the 1930s from three perspectives: the development of printing, the birth of commercial art and the extent to which advertising mirrored society. This third theme is explored through subjects such as class, the perception of women, celebrities, royalty, politics, war and local history.
The exhibition has been open spasmodically, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The online version includes images of all exhibits with captions. The accompanying book, The Art of Advertising, addresses the themes of the exhibition through a series of extended essays by Julie Anne Lambert, Michael Twyman, Lynda Mugglestone, Helen Clifford, Ashley Jackson and David Tomkins. Vintage Advertising: an A to Z by Julie Anne Lambert takes a lighter approach to a selection of themes, juxtaposing images of different times and styles.
This exhibition showcased the Collection (transferred from OUP in 1968) to the world. The catalogue remains the standard work on the Collection and its formation. The catalogue is available online (PDF, 1.6mb). Those with access to the ProQuest project: The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera, can read the catalogue introduction on the ProQuest site.
A Nation of Shopkeepers: trade ephemera from 1654 to the 1860s in the John Johnson Collection was an exhibition which showcased Trade Cards, Trades and Professions prints (which are digitised), and Bill Headings. Themes included The Great Exhibition, Oxford Trade, Juvenilia, and Women in Trade.
The exhibition was accompanied by a website created in 2001, and the website is shown as an example of web ephemera. This was the Bodleian Library's first online exhibition.
This exhibition drew on the John Johnson, Harding and Opie Collections to showcase the ephemera of children's learning through play. There is no catalogue, but the Exhibition Guide is online (PDF 1960kb).
Other displays have included:
The Season for Love: a collection of choice valentines from the John Johnson Collection, February 2010
The Season for Love was a small exhibition of valentines and items relating to their manufacture. It was shown in the Proscholium cases in the Old Bodleian Library, Oxford.
This exhibition (in the Proscholium cases) ran from 26 March to 25 April 2010 and showcased 24 small panel posters for London Transport and the Underground Electric Railways Company Ltd.