Saturday, December 14, 2019

'Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic' to make its Canadian debut at the Royal Ontario Museum

'Pooh sitting on his branch ... beside  him, ten pots of honey'. Winnie-the-Pooh chapter 9, line block print. Line illustrations copyright E.H. Shepard. Coloring of the illustrations copyright 1970 and 1973 E.H. Shepard and Egmont UK Limited. Reproduced with permission from Curtis Brown Group Ltd on behalf of The Shepard Trust. From the Egmont UK Ltd Collection held at University of Surrey, Ref No EGM/1/74.

Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is the exclusive Canadian venue for an exhibition celebrating the magical world of one of the most adored literary characters of all time. Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic will be on view at the ROM from March 7 to August 3, 2020. Organized by London's Victoria and Albert Museum, the exhibition will explore the origins, creation and enduring legacy of the classic stories by A.A. Milne and illustrations by E.H. Shepard.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic examines the real people, relationships and inspirations behind the character and its imaginary world. The exhibition gives new insight into Milne and Shepard's creative collaboration -- highlighting Milne's unique storytelling style, his clever use of language and Shepard's illustrations.

More than 200 works are in the exhibition, spanning 90 years of Winnie-the-Pooh history, from 1920 to the present. They include original illustrations, letters and proofs, early editions, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion -- all featuring Winnie and his friends: Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Piglet, Rabbit and Tigger. 

The exhibition holds special meaning for Canada, as a Canadian veterinarian purchased a female black bear cub from a trapper in Ontario and named her "Winnie" after his hometown of Winnipeg. Read more about the Canadian connection in my blog post, Winnie the Pooh hails from Winnipeg (and has his own gallery)

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