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How a new generation is discovering the magic of Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh- credit: Line block print hand coloured by E.H.Shepard 1970. Reproduced with permission from the Shepard Trust

For kids brands that have been around for decades, it is imperative to stay relevant with long-time fans as well as engaging the younger generations of today. A new Winnie the Pooh exhibit that just opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum manages that delicate balance perfectly. And there’s nothing like an exhibition at such a prestigious institution as a way to spark excitement with all generations, young and old. As Curator Emma Laws told me, “This exhibition is about discovering and rediscovering what is one of the most popular and famous children’s characters and stories of all time.”

It’s fair to say that Winnie the Pooh is of the most beloved bears of all time. And, while this exhibition is vastly different to the other recent fashion focused offerings at the museum from Balenciaga to David Bowie, it is definitely a must-visit.

This new child-friendly exhibit is being touted as one of the largest showings of Winnie-the-Pooh drawings and original manuscripts in the U.K. to date, with some items dating back to the 1920s. So the exhibit is still in-line with exploring the history of an exceptional creation, just with a more innocent and child-like subject.

A. A. Milne and Christopher Robin

One of the most anticipated attractions is the incredibly rare recording of the author, AA Milne himself, reading Winnie-the-Pooh in 1929, transporting visitors back in time. Other attractions include a hand-made tea set given to Princess Elizabeth in 1928 along with pages from the House of Pooh Corner manuscript, rare drawings, photographs, fashion and illustrations.

This exhibit marks an important milestone for the museum as for the first time, they are focusing on younger families.  Hopefully, with the success of this run, Pooh might hopefully open the doors to more family-focused public art displays, expanding the age range of visitors to the museum.  Check it out from now until April 8th 2018.

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