March 09

Winnie-the-Pooh Exhibit(Saturday, March 7th-Mon.,August 3rd, 2020.@THE ROM

Visitors are invited to see the world—and the ROM—through Pooh’s eyes: a place to ponder, wonder and find joy in simple pleasures. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic examines the origins, creation and enduring legacy of the classic stories by A.A. Milne (1882–1956) and the heart-warming illustrations of E.H. Shepard (1879–1976). The ROM’s presentation also explores Pooh’s fascinating Canadian connection, which in part inspired the iconic character’s rise to fame.

Fans of all ages are able to immerse themselves in the wonderful and whimsical world of Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, opening exclusively in Canada at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on Saturday, March 7 and on view until August 3, 2020.

“We are delighted to present Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic at the ROM, showcasing the playful side of art, culture and nature,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “This exhibition will not only capture the imaginations of our young visitors but will enchant entire generations of families who grew up with Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends.”

More than 200 works in the exhibition span over 100 years of Winnie-the-Pooh history, from 1914 to the present. The objects include original illustrations, letters and proofs along with early editions, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion—all featuring the much-loved bear and his friends: Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Piglet, Rabbit and Tigger.

“This exhibition is designed for children of all ages to enjoy–with interactive games, reading nooks, and even a slide–while bringing us all back to days where we could bask in the sun, visit with neighbours, and let the day slip away,” adds Justin Jennings, the ROM’s Presenting Curator of the exhibition. “In many ways a primer for a life well-lived, Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic takes us to place where we can all feel special, listened to and loved.”

The world of Pooh is brought to life as an immersive story book in six chapters, offering multi-sensory experiences that encourage play and creativity. A “Family Trail” takes visitors through winding hallways and passageways, including the childhood bedroom of Christopher Robin and the fictional “100 Aker Woods.” Kids can also play “Poohsticks” and listen to the only known audio of author A.A Milne reading Pooh stories. Meanwhile, adults can appreciate early conceptual sketches and real-life stories of this very popular bear.

In a special section of the exhibition dedicated to the Canadian story, visitors will learn about the young female black bear named Winnie that traveled withher companion, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, from the forests of Ontario to England in 1914, eventually becoming part of the inspiration for Milne’s books and poems.

“Ontario offers the world in one province and I am proud that the Royal Ontario Museum will welcome the country as the sole Canadian host of the Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic exhibition,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “I encourage everyone to visit the ROM and learn how Pooh grew from his humble Canadian origins to be one of the most beloved characters of all time.”

The Winnie-the-Pooh collection is primarily drawn from the V&A, The Walt Disney Company, Egmont Publishing, The Shepard Trust, and The University of Surrey.
As the exclusive Canadian venue for Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, this is the last chance to see this exhibition on its worldwide tour.

The Museum is also offering Sensory Friendly hours on select Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., with the first event scheduled on March 28.
A series of engaging Winnie-the-Pooh themed programmes have been scheduled throughout the exhibition’s run.

A Media preview of new exhibition Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, opening exclusively in Canada at the ROM on Saturday, March 7.
We were given a guided tour featuring:
More than 200 works spanning over 100 years of Winnie-the-Pooh history from 1914 to present, including a WWI diary, original illustrations, letters and proofs that showcase the creative collaboration between writer A.A. Milne and artist E.H. Shepard.
Multi-sensory experiences that bring Hundred Acre Wood to life, including interactive games, large-scale installations, larger-than-life imagery, and areas where families can read and play together.
A special section on the Canadian connection and real-life story behind this iconic character: the young female black bear named Winnie and her companion, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn.
Also, in attendance was:
Dr. Justin Jennings, Presenting Curator, Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic, ROM
Dr. Julius Bryant, Keeper of Word and Image, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Lindsay Mattick, Author, Finding Winnie and Winnie’s Great War; great-granddaughter of Lieutenant Harry Colebourn
Josh Basseches, Director & CEO, ROM
We would like to thank Josslyn Johnstone of the ROM for the invitation to this event.