Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
9 December 2017 – 8 April 2018
Celebrate the abiding charm of a children's favourite and discover the inspirations behind the tales in the V&A’s first major exhibition of all things Pooh in 40 years.
Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl and Tigger; the characters of AA Milne’s classic children’s stories are as adored today as they were over 90 years ago. First illustrated with the simple, gently humorous drawings of EH Shepard, Pooh and friends transcended their original stories to become recognisable worldwide.
In this, the largest ever exhibition of Winnie-the-Pooh in the UK, the V&A explores how one small bear got such a sticky paw-hold on global popular culture through Walt Disney films, art, fashion and philosophy.
Visitors can trace the stories from the beginning, starting with the toys belonging to Milne’s son, Christopher, and sketches of the countryside that inspired the setting. The creative partnership between Milne and Shepard is examined through original drawings, manuscripts and proofs and, for the first time ever, the much-loved Poohsticks illustrations can be seen, on loan from international collectors.
Video and audio clips show how the stories jumped media, including a 1929 recording of Milne himself. In all, 230 works are on display including letters, photographs, cartoons, and ceramics. Aimed particularly at younger families, the exhibition includes a large area devoted to creative play with reimagined scenes and interactive elements where children can immerse themselves in the tales.