Winnie-the-Pooh and friends

The Friend

Enter the world of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends with a delightful exhibition which has opened today at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), just in time for the TMAG Children’s Festival.

In Winnie-the-Pooh and friends, visitors can explore a selection of original drawings by British artist Ernest Howard Shepard for the much loved children’s books Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne and Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham.

TMAG owns 29 works by Shepard, which were donated in 1981. The selection of images on show includes original studies for Milne’s When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six, and The House at Pooh Corner, as well as drawings of Ratty and Moley for Wind in the Willows.  

While many of the images in this small exhibition can be found in the printed books, a few also remain a valuable record of the artist’s unpublished notes and drawings.

Jane Stewart, Principal Curator of Art at TMAG who has developed the exhibition, believes the appeal for audiences will be considerable.

“For anyone who knows the Winnie-the-Pooh or the Wind in the Willows stories, there is some magic in seeing those original sketches up close and in person,” Jane said.

“Even for those coming to the stories for the first time, including children, there is a fascination in seeing how Shepard the illustrator began to give all those key characters, Christopher Robin, Pooh, Piglet as well as Ratty, Mole and Toad their form, a form we now all recognise and know so well.”

During next week’s TMAG Children’s Festival, there will be story readings in the exhibition space each day at 11:30 am, with young visitors encouraged to settle back and let their imagination wander through the Hundred Acre Wood with Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh.

Winnie-the-Pooh and friends is on show at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery from Friday, 21 April until Sunday, 20 August 2017. The TMAG Children’s Festival runs from Wednesday, 26 - Sunday, 30 April. For further information about the festival, visit the website.

Image details: E H Shepard (1879-1976), The Friend, nd, pencil on paper. Presented by F. Carroll, 1981.