The Eric Carle Museum, Exhibit: Paddington Comes to America
May 26 - June 24
The Carle is proud to be the first American museum to feature the beloved bear in Paddington™ Comes to America. From 32 Windsor Gardens in London, Paddington brings with him stories of humor, compassion, and marmalade. The exhibition commemorates the 60th anniversary of the first book by Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington. Fifteen novels, numerous publishing formats, two television series and two successful movies have ensured the loveable bear from Darkest Peru remains as popular as ever. Original art by Paddington’s various illustrators—Peggy Fortnum, Fred Banbery, Ivor Wood, David McKee, Barry Macey, and R.W. Alley—provides comparisons of the iconic bear over time. Guests can “travel” to Paddington’s favorite sites in London posted around the gallery, stamping special London bus passes at each location.
April 14 – October 7, 2018
R. W. Alley, Illustration for Paddington at the Tower, HarperCollins, 2011. Courtesy of the artist. © R. W. Alley 2018.
Paddington Bear is named after the West London train station where he was found and taken in by the Brown family in the stories of Bond who wrote them initially as individual chapters within novels.
The first, “A Bear Named Paddington,” was published in 1958.
Back in the 1950s Bond was a BBC TV cameraman and, en route home one Christmas Eve, he stopped in Selfridges department store after missing his bus and bought what he was to describe as a “forlorn” bear glove puppet on a shelf as a stocking stuffer for his first wife.
A few months later, Bond wrote his first full-length chapter book.
Marketed toward middle school readers, it told stories about a brown bear who emigrates from Peru, after his guardian aunt enters a home for retired bears, and ends up in the Paddington train station wearing a bush hat and with a suitcase and tag that says, “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”
Bond later told interviewers his Paddington Bear stories were partly inspired by his memories of young refugee children evacuated to London during World War II. They were to prove popular, particularly after the BBC created a TV series in the 1970s, featuring the anthropomorphic bear, and a toy version of him was produced.
This exhibition is generously supported by HarperCollins Children’s Books, global publisher of the Paddington Bear books since 1958 and YOTTOY Productions, long term toy partner of Paddington in the US since 2005.