British Library to Open Paddington Exhibition

The exhibition features more than 50 books, documents, film clips and original artworks that explore Michael Bond’s creation of Paddington.
License Global

May 8, 2021

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“Paddington: The Story of a Bear,” a new exhibition from the British Library, will be opening this summer.

“’Paddington: The Story of a Bear’ is a fun, family-friendly exhibition recalling the many faces of Paddington we’ve come to know and love in original artwork, books and scenes from TV and film adaptations,” says Alison Bailey, lead curator, “Paddington: The Story of a Bear.” “This exhibition reminds us why, over 60 years on from his creation, Paddington still resonates with people of all ages, wherever they are in the world. We hope visitors enjoy following this loveable bear on his adventures and discovering his stories.”

Featuring books, documents, film clips and original illustrations, highlights of the exhibition will include:

  • First edition of A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, published by HarperCollins Publishers in 1958;
    • The original review on A Bear Called Paddington by Barbara Ker Wilson, 1958;
      • A selection of photographs and memorabilia of Michael Bond on loan from his family;
        • Clips from the Paddington movies and sound recordings such as Michael Bond talking about the process of creating Paddington’s stories; and
          • Original illustrations of Paddington stories by artists including Peggy Fortnum, David McKee and R.W. Alley.

            The exhibition also has activities for visitors to practice their hard stares, take their own self ‘pawtrait’ and follow the trail of marmalade left by Paddington, as well as a printed guide for families. Two local primary schools in Camden – Argyle Primary

            School and Edith Neville Primary School – have been working with the Library since November 2020 to create new content for display in the exhibition.

            “As Paddington brand owners, we are delighted to be working with the British Library on this fantastic exhibition,” says Sophie Kopaczynski, chief executive officer, Copyrights Group. “The exhibition invites families and fans – old and new – into the world of Paddington, full of adventure and kindness, through a wide variety of mediums, books to original artworks, letters to objects, film footage to exclusive TV clips. It is always a pleasure to be able to introduce Paddington to a new audience and to offer new and exciting content for existing fans.”

            There will be a series of events and adult learning courses inspired by the exhibition, as well as workshops for families and relaxed openings for children on the autism spectrum. School groups can book exclusive timed slots including free, activity-led facilitated workshops for primary students.

            “Paddington: The Story of a Bear” is a ticketed exhibition running July 9 through October 31.

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