Barnsley Museums launch a claw-some new exhibition

Barnsley Museums are delighted to welcome its brand new summer exhibition Bears! from Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books - inspired by the greatest picture book bears in children’s literature.

Visitors to the Cooper Gallery will be able to meet literature’s most famous bears including Rupert and Winnie-the-Pooh, before discovering new stories filled with polar bears, panda bears and toy bears.

Artwork and manuscripts featured in the exhibition will include 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.

Alongside bears and bear stories the exhibition is an opportunity to see beautiful, inspiring illustrations from the creators of many favourite bear books, including Anthony Browne, Jackie Morris, Helen Cooper and Chris Riddell. There is also the chance to gain an insight into the process of illustration with many artists using a combination of traditional and digital techniques including; Jon Klassen, Joel Stewart and David Litchfield.

The Sadler Room upstairs in the gallery will be showing 'Me and My Bear', paw’fect portraits of visitors and their much-loved bears. Be it a cute bear with a little tail or a noble bear in the House of Lords, very special friendships and stories shine through.

Throughout the exhibition, a programme of activities will be running for all the family to enjoy. From a teddy bears picnic on Saturday 30 June to mark the exhibition launch to storytelling, puppet making and even wellie planting sessionsto celebrate Paddington's 60th birthday.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Seven Stories fascinating exhibition to Barnsley. Alongside many bears, there will be a glade, bear cave and a library of bear-related books. Throughout the exhibition, we will be working with Barnsley Libraries and welcoming a very special guest in July from the BookTrust, Bookstart Bear.

“Always a great destination for families to explore, there will be even more to see and do over the summer in Barnsley. Whether you’re 1 or 101, there'll be something for everyone, and the exhibition is a great way to kick-start the town's summer programme in style.”

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!’

Bears! will be on display at the Cooper Gallery until Saturday 1 September. Entry is free with donations to the Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust welcomed.

Check out the exhibition programme guide for activities and events happening in the exhibition throughout the Summer here.