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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Winnie-the-Pooh at the V&A Museum



Last weekend we went to see the exhibition Winnie-The-Pooh exploring a classic at the V and A Museum in London. This is a ticketed exhibition and tickets can be bought in advance on the V and A website for a timed slot. We attended mid-afternoon and were at the exhibition for about an hour.  There is something about Winnie the Pooh which I think appeals to all ages. For myself, it is fond memories of reading the books as a child and how comforting the stories were. As much as I have enjoyed the Disney cartoons, I have a great fondness for the original illustrations and stories and the visual creativity in those original books by A. A. Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard.

The first thing I noticed is just how beautiful and exhibition is. This has been created to be visually stunning with lots of look at and explore making it highly appealing for children especially young children.


The exhibition began with a display of Winnie the Pooh related books and merchandise from across the world showing the different ways that the 'bear of little brain' has been represented over the years.


The exhibition then took us into the lives of E. H. Shepard and A. A. Milne. Through photographs, letters, articles, original drawings and artifacts we were given a glimpse into their lives. There were also some beautiful photos of A. A. Milne's son, Christopher Milne, the inspiration for Christopher Robin. Showing him as a child with both a real bear he used to visit and his toy bears.


The most outstanding part of the exhibition for me was the many many original drawings on display showing sketches and preliminary drawings by E H Shepherd of Pooh and his friends. It seemed that these were of most interest to the adults while there were many other things which kept the children engaged. It was really relaxing to be able to read the exhibition notes and study the pictures whilst the children were so entertained.


The exhibition had hands on elements throughout including a slide, hiding places, a projected river and pooh sticks running under a bridge which could be explored, doors to go through, things to open and find and a space to draw the characters.







It felt like there was something magical about the setting and with words and images hanging from the ceiling it reflected the fun way in which the original books were presented with the words in the stories often incorporated into the illustrations and being incredibly linked together.


Of course the exhibition ended in a shop but there was an interesting range of related merchandise on sale. When I go to Disney events and parks I try to find something small as a memento these days and so I was pleased to see that the exhibition had produced some Disney copyrighted pins, exclusive to the exhibition so I bought one of these to remind me of this trip.


The exhibition runs until Sunday 8th April 2018 and is £8 for adults and free for children, advanced booking is recommended. Also see the website for other related events, we saw the start of a puppet show based around the Winnie the Pooh stories in one of the galleries which seemed a bit young for my daughter so we went to look at something else but my son is looking forward to visiting the exhibition too and I think he will love the puppet show.


P.S. Do visit the many other outstanding galleries at the V and A. There are cultural items from across the ages, Disney lovers might enjoy the Theatre gallery where items include two stunning costumes from the Lion King Musical.



7 comments:

  1. This is so neat! I recently watched Goodbye Christopher Robin and the movie made my attachment to Winnie the Pooh even stronger after knowing AA Milnes story. I would love to visit there someday!

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    1. I really want to see that film when it comes out on DVD. They had the toys which they made for the film as part of the exhibition.

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  2. Really cool! Wish I was in London to see! We saw the original stuffed animals at the New York Public Library last year, it was so neat to see them in real life!

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    1. I saw that the original toys were in New York, such a fantastic opportunity!

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  3. There is something about Winnie the Pooh, it really is timeless. I would love to see this exhibition.

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    1. Absolutely, it has been a firm favourite for generations.

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  4. Darn, we will miss this! The exhibit looks amazing.

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