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Paddington: The Story of a Bear exhibition set for the British Library

Family-friendly exhibition will run from 9 July to 31 October 2021 and will include events, workshops and creative content from two local primary schools in Camden.

A new exhibition celebrating Paddington Bear is due to open at the British Library in London this summer.

Paddington: The Story of a Bear will run from 9 July to 31 October 2021 and will take visitors on a journey through the character’s creation and arrival in the UK from Peru, how he finds a home with a new family and his adventures in London and beyond.

The exhibition will also explore how author Michael Bond took inspiration from his own life and family in creating Paddington.

The exhibition has 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. 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 for all visitors to enjoy.

Featuring books, documents, film clips and original illustrations, highlights of the exhibition will include a first edition of A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, published by HarperCollins Publishers in 1958; the original review of A Bear Called Paddington by Barbara Ker Wilson in 1958; a selection of photographs and memorabilia of Muchael Bond on loan from his family; clips from 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 RW Alley.

“As Paddington brand owners we are delighted to be working with the British Library on this fantastic exhibition,” said Sophie Kopaczynski, ceo at 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 enjoy exclusive timed slots including free, activity-led facilitated workshops for Primary students.

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