Hallo! Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Hallo! Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Floating away..Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Floating away..Photo credit: V&A Museum.
The interior of the exhibition. Photo credit: V&A Museum.
The interior of the exhibition. Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Journey through the written visuals. Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Journey through the written visuals. Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Follow the story up the steps. Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Follow the story up the steps. Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Snippets of the iconic story. Photo credit: V&A Museum.
Snippets of the iconic story. Photo credit: V&A Museum.

A review of Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic at the V&A Museum

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Kids in Museums Facebook Manager, Ella Ottaway, reviews this wonderfully curated and thoughtful exhibition. 

I had a feeling that we were onto a winner with this exhibition – I had heard so much about how engaging and carefully considered it was, and we were definitely not disappointed.

The day before our visit, I received an email which explained everything from the nearest baby changing facility on site (both male and female facilities are located on the same floor – only a short walk away) to the family activities which were available on the day. The email also made it clear that visitors may leave the exhibition and return, providing that they make a member of staff aware.

From a family perspective, these touches were extremely refreshing and accommodating, and can help to make a family day out that little bit less stressful.

The exhibition is clearly signposted at the main section of the museum as only a short walk away. Right outside of the exhibition entrance is a buggy park, where buggies and prams can be left in the care of Christopher Robin. This was a fantastic touch, and proof that practical factors don’t have to be completely removed from the exhibition theme.

The staff that greeted us were warm and welcoming, and extremely knowledgeable about the exhibition. Even on a busy weekend afternoon, everything was well organised and efficient, and the care and attention to detail that we had experienced previously were continued throughout the exhibition.

In the first room for instance, there was the introduction of the ‘Busy Bee Family Trail’ as well as a box of baby hip seat support carriers which visitors with smaller children (3-36 months) could borrow.

In the second room, there is even a cosy bed where you can sit, relax and enjoy a bedtime story! Although we were focusing on the family-friendly aspects of the exhibition, there were visitors of all ages and not a single person without a smile on their face.

The object displays were varied and positioned slightly lower than usual, which proved to be perfect for the smaller but independent visitors. The pieces on show were diverse and ranged from a tea set which was given to Queen Elizabeth, to props from the recent film Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) and versions of Winnie the Pooh from across the globe. These were displayed alongside various drawings, letters and photographs which brought to life the creative partnership between A.A. Milne and E.H Shepard, and both of their family lives which influenced different stories and characters.

The V&A describes Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic as a ‘multi-sensory’ and ‘magical’ exhibition, and that is exactly right. It was nothing short of magical.

The exhibition strikes a careful balance between being playful and imaginative but dignified and thought-provoking, which makes it a truly wonderful experience for visitors of all ages.

Whether your relationship with Winnie the Pooh and his friends is a new one, or if you are reminiscing with fond, nostalgic memories, I would highly recommend a visit – this will not disappoint.

 

Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic at the V&A Museum runs from 9 December 2017 until 8 April, 2o18. Family-

Tickets: Free entry for children 11 and under with an accompanying ticket holder

Family-of-3-ticket (including 1 adult and 2 children under the age of 17): £13 (without a donation)

Family-of-4-ticket (including 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 17): £21 (without a donation)

Adult ticket: £8 (without a donation). 

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