Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic, V&A, 8 December 2017

Little boy, captivated by the images and artefacts

We booked a late afternoon preview slot for this exhibition months ago, when it was first announced.

We love Winnie-The-Pooh; we don’t love swarms of children. Simples.

Result.

We got to see this charming little exhibition in ideal (for us) circumstances. Enough people around for it to have atmosphere but a quiet slot mid-to-late afternoon, just ahead of any members who might bring their children after school.

The V&A rubric on the exhibition can be found by clicking here.

Reviews and stuff (at the time of writing just previews) can be found through this search term – click here.

We took several photos – if you want to see more than just the few on show in this piece, either click here or the photo below:

The show is an interactive experience, but in a very analogue way – with a staircase to sit halfway up, a slide, an hexagonal spinning name generator and some drawing exercises.

This little girl tried out the drawing exercises

No virtual reality like the Modigliani across the water, nor even any computerised games. Pooh sticks was thus, in my opinion, under-served. One senior lady member wondered out loud whether any children had been involved in the curating of this exhibition. I thought it a good question and guessed that the answer is no.

Still, the exhibition was beautifully designed – Janie thought it one of the most stylish she can ever remember – with lots of hoardings in the style of E. H. Shepard drawings emblazoned with well chosen chunks of A.A. Milne’s wonderfully crafted words and some sound effects, such as bees in the vicinity of the story about Pooh searching for honey. The simplicity, I guess, is a large part of the show’s charm.

I even visited the North Pole

I got to visit the North Pole. Janie, of course, now five weeks into her pole dancing hobby, found Pooh’s pole a little tame for her taste…

Janie visits a pole in her own way

…yet Janie was surprisingly timid at the idea of trying out the slide, which she did attempt, eventually, rather gingerly in my view:

Hard landing, apparently

We had lots of fun at this exhibition and did learn quite a lot about the wider context of the works from the exhibits.

Afterwards, we tried out the new members’ room for refreshments and very much enjoyed it. A much larger, airier space than the previous room, which was rather pokey and “uti” for the V&A. The friendly staff and tempting menu come into their own in this improved facility.

Keeping the wolf (or perhaps, in this case, tigger) from the door

As for the Pooh show, the V&A shop will no doubt do lots of business with some excellent books about the wider context and also some beautiful editions of the Milne/Shepard Pooh books themselves. But we resolved instead to stop off at the flat and pick up my tatty Methuen paperback Poohs for the weekend – by gosh they are dog-eared and falling apart but they are mine:

My Poohs and I’m proud of them

After dinner, little Daisy dropped off to sleep while I was reading her some of the poems. Bless.

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