An exhibition for the grown up kids: Winnie-the-Pooh

16 December, 2017

The exhibition «Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic» opened at Victoria and Albert Museum on the 9th of December.

It traces the history of the legendary character in details. As well as many other Milne’s characters, Winnie-the-Pooh was named after one of author’s son’s Christopher Robin’s toys. The boy named his favorite teddy bear after the bear Winnipeg who at that time lived in London Zoo. Canadian army’s veterinary division’s mascot, who was bought from a Canadian hunter for 20 dollars and saved by veterinarians, she (yes, the real Winnie was a girl) came to Britain with the army. But the division had to move further, and it was decided that Winnie would stay in London, where she quickly became much loved by the locals for being very friendly – she even let kids play with her. At the exhibition, apart from everything else, you’ll see a photo of Christopher Robin playing with Winnipeg. Pooh was a swan living at Milnes’ friends. And a noble “the” in the middle added a comic element to it.

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Apart from the photos of Milnes’ family, the exhibition tells the story of Alan Milne’s collaboration with E. H. Shepard, the first illustrator of the Pooh books, who also worked on Kenneth Graham’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ that inspired Milne when working on Pooh.

You’ll also see toys based on the books’ characters coming from different countries and even centuries, including the original Christopher Robin’s toys. Among them there’s also a Soviet Winnie that was created by the director Fyodor Hitruk who made a widely famous in the Russian-speaking countries animation series on Winnie, and artist Eduard Nazarov. They created the image based on Boris Zakhoder’s adaptation of Milne’s classics for Russian speakers. Zakhoder managed to keep the original tone and humour, but still make Winnie-the-Pooh “their own” for Russian readers.

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Even though the content of the exhibition is slightly complicated for kids with lots of historical documents in there, it is of course designed for little visitors as well, so they won’t get bored: they can take a picture in Winnie’s tree or have fun on the slide.

The exhibition will be running till the 8th of April 2018.