Bears! Bears! Bears! Everywhere at Museum This Summer

The River & Rowing Museum is teeming with bears this summer. Discover!, the Museum’s interactive family area, has been transformed into a wonderful world of bears. Go on your own bear hunt through the bears’ glade, curl up with your favourite story in the bear cave and enjoy dressing up as your favourite characters. All in excited anticipation of the Bears! an exhibition from Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books which opens on 3 August – perfect timing for the school holidays.

Following on from the success of its Peter Rabbit™ and Nick Sharratt exhibitions, and in advance of the forthcoming The Snowman™ and The Snowdog and Elmer & Friends exhibitions, the Museum continues to promote children’s literature and illustrations with this delightful Bears! exhibition.

The exhibition features original artworks and manuscripts, including Hugless Douglas, Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Bear and The Piano and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Otto the Book Bear will guide visitors around the exhibition, introducing them to children’s book bears old and new.

Bears! is an opportunity to see beautiful, inspiring illustrations and preparatory artwork from the creators of many favourite bear books and to gain an insight into the process of illustration with many artists using a combination of traditional and digital techniques.

Exhibition highlights include:
• Original artwork by Robert Ingpen of the Hundred Acre Wood, from the well-known series ‘Winnie the Pooh’ written by A.A. Milne.
• Original artwork by Jane Hissey for ‘Old Bear’.
• Michael Rosen’s annotated typescript draft of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ (1989, Walker).

The exhibition comes to the Museum from Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books.

Gill Rennie, Senior Curator at Seven Stories, said: “Almost everyone has a teddy bear! And over the last one hundred years bears have become increasingly popular subjects for children’s authors and illustrators. What is it about bears that we love so much? And what adventures are bears getting up to in books today? Visit the exhibition to find out!”

To support this exhibition, the Museum will be running a series of bear-related Family Days and children’s workshops over the summer holidays, to bring the displays to life. A fabulous day out for the whole family – bears welcome!

Family Fridays
Every Friday during the school summer holidays join our team in the galleries for craft and lots of bear-illiant fun!

Tuesday Tales
Every Tuesday throughout August
2:00pm – 2:30pm
Join us every Tuesday in August at 2pm to hear bear stories new and old from our Bears! exhibition. Free with admission.
Family Fun Days

Teddy Bears’ Picnic
Thurs 8 Aug
10.30am – 4pm
Take your teddy for a picnic and discover bears that live in the woods! Go on a bear hunt…can you spot the bears hiding in the trees? Make a paper picnic, create your own bear board game and hear your favourite bear stories. Make your own bear ears and top it off with a bear face paint! It’s going to be a bear-illiant fun day!
Free with admission

Bears, Bears, Everywhere!
Thurs 29 Aug
10.30am – 4pm
Discover bears from around the world – polar bears, grizzly bears, bears that swim, bears that climb and even bears with spectacles! Take our great bear quiz and get crafty making your own bear world. Add your paw print to our giant bear and have fun singing bear songs!
Free with admission

Children’s Creative Workshops

All children under 7 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Boing Boing Bear
Tues 20 Aug
10.30am – 12.30pm
End the summer holidays partying like a bear. Make a small jack in a box with Rupert or Paddington popping out…then conga all the way through Nut Wood with traditional party games.
4 – 7 yrs

Bees and Bears
Tues 6 Aug
10.30am – 12.30pm
Who loves honey as much as Winnie-the-Pooh? Learn about the busy bees that make honey and create a crafty honeypot to keep your own treasures in.
4 – 7 yrs

All you need to know about bees with Honeys of Henley
Tues 6 Aug
2 – 3pm
Following on from our Bees and Bears workshop, Honeys of Henley will BEE joining us in the foyer for a fascinating afternoon of all things bee-related, including a working bee suit and hive tools. They will share a complete hive from roof to floor, with everything in it except for the bees, with lots of buzzing activities, such as building a hive – you’ll even be able to taste some honey at the end.
Free with admission

Paws with Personality
Tues 13 Aug
10.30am – 12.30pm
Be inspired by famous bears and create your own using a sock, felt, paper and your imagination!
Fill your bear with character and make its unique bear passport.
7 – 11 yrs

Mod Roc Bear
Weds 28 Aug
10.30am – 12.30pm
Find out how to make an armature so that you can create a 3D model of a bear – climbing, walking, sleeping – whatever you like! Then use Mod Roc to create a proper sculpture to take home with you.
7 – 11 yrs


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