From 9th December, the V&A in London will host Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, an exhibition showcasing drawings of the fictional bear for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Due to run until 8th April, the new exhibition will be what’s reported as the UK’s largest ever exhibition on Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard.
Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic will be a ‘multi-sensory, playful’ exhibition that will explore the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh – one of the most popular fictional characters of all time.
What can groups except?
Visitors will discover the real people, relationships and inspirations behind the charismatic bear, and a world representing friendship, simple joys and the curious yet gentle nature of a child’s imagination.
There will be a focus on interplay between text and illustration, shedding new light on the creative collaboration between Milne and Shepard. The exhibition will explore Milne’s storytelling including his use of language, and will also look at how Shepard produced enduring illustrations, combining expressive line with white space.
Items of international significance will be on show, including original illustrations, manuscripts, proofs and early editions, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion, all featuring the much-loved character and his friends: Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo, Owl, Piglet, Rabbit and Tigger.
And, for the first time, the pencil sketch and the pen and ink drawing of the celebrated ‘Poohsticks’ illustration featuring Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet and Christopher Robin will go on display side by side.
The exhibition is particularly suited to visitors with children, who will be encouraged to explore their own creativity through art and word play.
Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, said: “I’m delighted that Winnie-the-Pooh is being celebrated at the V&A, nearly 40 years since he last took centre stage at the museum. From the world’s largest collection of E.H. Shepard’s Winnie-the-Pooh pencil drawings, to homemade honey from our rooftops in South Kensington, the V&A is the perfect home for Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Christopher Robin and friends.”
For more information and to book tickets, visit www.vam.ac.uk/winniethepooh.
Pictured: Line block print, hand coloured by E.H. Shepard, 1970. (Photo credit: Egmont, reproduced with permission from the Shepard Trust).