British Library to host Paddington: The Story of a Bear exhibition

Published on: 11th May 2021

The Paddington exhibition opens at the British Library this summer and will run from 9th July until the end of October.

Paddington with his creator, the late Michael Bond. Picture by Terry Harris.

Paddington: The Story of a Bear is a new, family-friendly exhibition celebrating one of the world’s most beloved fictional bears, over 60 years on from when he was first published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 1958.

Sophie Kopaczynski, CEO at Copyrights Group commented: “As Paddington brand owners we are delighted to be working with the British Library on this fantastic exhibition. 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.”

Featuring over 50 books, documents, film clips and original artworks, the exhibition will explore Michael Bond’s creation of Paddington, and explore how author Michael Bond took inspiration from his own life and family in creating the character.

Featuring books, documents, film clips and original illustrations, highlights will include a first edition of A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, published in 1958; a selection of photographs and memorabilia of Michael Bond on loan from his family; clips from the Paddington movies and original illustrations of Paddington stories by artists including Peggy Fortnum, David McKee and RW Alley.

Alison Bailey, lead curator of Paddington: The Story of a Bear said: “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. 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.”

There will be activities for visitors to practise their hard stares, take their own self ‘pawtrait’ and follow the trail of marmalade left by Paddington, as well as a special printed guide for families. The exhibition includes creative content developed in partnership with two local primary schools in Camden, and the programme of events running alongside the exhibition will also see workshops, events and online activities provided for schools and families, as well as relaxed openings for children on the autism spectrum.

Paddington: The Story of a Bear is a ticketed exhibition and more information is available here.


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