Automata

Automata are mechanical works of art which, as their name suggests, are self-operating machines. They are sometimes also referred to as kinetic sculptures, or kinetic art.

Automata, as art, were first introduced in the 17th century in Japan, and over the following three centuries many industrious artists and craftsmen have produced automata of all shapes and sizes. They came into the public eye in England in the 1950s, largely thanks to the the inventions of Rowland Emett and in particular his famous railway in Battersea Park for the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Who makes automata?

There are thousands of people creating automata throughout the world today. We have been privileged to meet several of these ingenious artists-cum-engineers, and are grateful for their contribution to our exhibitions. Many automata are built in garages and home workshops by dedicated enthusiasts, often for no more reason than entertainment and wonder.