A Pooh welcome © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

‘Bump, bump, bump’, Winnie-the-Pooh chapter 1, pencil drawing by E.H. Shephard, 1926 © The Shepard Trust, reproduced with permission from Curtis Brown

A cabinet of Pooh curiosities © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Winnie-the-Pooh sake cups, blue & white porcelain, made by Hasami for the Walt Disney Corporation, c. 2014 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Christopher Robin ceramic teaset presented to Princess Elizabeth, hand-painted Ashtead Pottery, 1928 © Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2017

Teddy Bear manufactured by Margarete Steiff c. 1906–1910. Stuffed and sewn mohair plush. Bequeathed by Miss Z.N. Ziegler © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Line block print, hand-coloured by E.H. Shepard, 1970 © Egmont, reproduced with permission from The Shepard Trust

Pooh Sticks installation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin Milne and Pooh Bear by Howard Coster, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery

Original drawings of Winnie-the-Pooh are on display at the V&A for the first time in nearly 40 years as part of the UK’s largest ever exhibition on Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic is a multi-sensory, playful exhibition that dives headlong into the magical adventures of one of the most adored fictional characters of all time.

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The exhibition reveals the real people, relationships and inspirations behind the charismatic bear, and enters a captivating world of friendship, simple pleasures and the curious yet gentle nature of a child’s imagination. Visitors are taken on a journey exploring the joyful interplay between text and illustration, shedding new light on the creative collaboration between Milne and Shepard and their infectious sense of wonder and humour. Children are encouraged to explore their own creativity through art and word play in a variety of walk-through installations based on instantly recognisable scenes from the books.

Spanning more than 90 years since first publication, the exhibition delves into the archives of the V&A, the Walt Disney Company, Egmont Publishing, The Shepard Trust and The University of Surrey, to feature around 230 works from 1920 to the present day. Items of international significance include original illustrations, manuscripts, proofs and early editions, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion, all featuring the much-loved character and his friends.

 

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
Saturday 9 December to Sunday 8 April
Gallery 38, V&A, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL
Daily 10 am to 5:30 pm
Fridays to 9:30 pm
£8; members and under 12s free; various concessions
with support from the Unwin Charitable Trust
More info
#WinniethePooh

The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated book edited by co-curators Annemarie Bilclough and Emma Laws, and a series of related talks, courses, workshops and other school and family events.
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Emma Laws is the Frederick Warne Curator of Children’s Literature in the Word & Image Deparment at the V&A. Her previous exhibitions have considered the work of Beatrix Potter alongside Ernest Aris, Cicely Mary Barker, Randolph Caldecott, Edward Lear and Maurice Sendak, and in Peter Rabbit: the tale of The Tale, showed together for the first time the complete set of illustrations to The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Annemare Bilclough is a curator in the Prints section of the V&A’s Word & Image Department and has previously managed the V&A Illustration Awards and contributed to the museum’s Art Deco, Arts and Crafts and Blood on Paper exhibitions, the ‘Mapping the Imagination’ display, and a web project on illustrated fables.

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