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Review: Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic at the High Museum of Art
June 3, 2018 - September 2, 2018
For those who grew up reading “Winnie-the-Pooh” stories, this exhibit is a dose of nostalgia. For today’s kids, it’s an adventure in discovering an adorable teddy bear who has grown ever more popular over the past 90-plus years.
Winnie-the-Pooh was first presented to the public in 1923, after political writer A.A. Milne was inspired to tell stories about his son, Christopher, and his son’s favorite teddy bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. While Christopher played, his father watched and chronicled their imaginary adventures. Artist and cartoonist E.H. Shepard illustrated the stories.
Teddy bears, named after U.S. President Theodore” Teddy” Roosevelt, were popular toys in the early 20th century, and Christopher got his on his first birthday in 1921. Originally, the bear was named Edward, but Christopher renamed him after he saw a real bear named Winnie at the London Zoo.
The exhibit features numerous original drawings and books, plus photographs of the author and his son playing with his bear.
Before visiting the exhibit, take time to read a couple of the Pooh stories to your child so he’ll be familiar with Winnie, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga and Roo. At the exhibit, kids can sit in trees scattered throughout and listen to the only known audio of the author reading Pooh stories.
They also can play “Poohsticks” on a bridge over a projected river. “Poohsticks” is a game Winnie-the-Pooh invented, where he and his friends drop sticks into the river and guess whose stick will reach the other side of the bridge first.
Another popular spot for kids is a drawing table with pencils and papers so children can try their hand at sketching Pooh and other favorite characters. Two-year-old Ella, who was visiting the exhibit with her father, liked sitting in the Nursery bed and reading books set out for children to explore.
On Saturdays and Sundays, don’t miss live storytimes at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. For babies and toddlers, visit “The One Acre Wood” play space at the Woodruff Arts Center to explore textures and sounds inspired by The Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie-the-Pooh stories. (Open through July 15, Mon.-Fri. 1-4 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 9-15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.)
– Becky Cooper
This exhibition, organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, explores the history and legacy of Pooh through original sketches, photographs, memorabilia and letters. The display also includes interactive elements that bring Shepard’s illustrations to life. Tues.-Thurs. And Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Noon-5 p.m. Ages 6 and older, $14.50; ages 5 and younger, free.