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Past exhibitions

Children in Narnia installation

Other Worlds

May 2012
A collaboration with Dark Angels and local artists to animate the unrefurbished buildings with a series of intriguing and creative installations offering glimpses into other worlds of story and the imagination.

Tea with Alice

June – August 2012
The Alice books have been translated into 125 languages and interpreted by countless illustrators, artists and designers. This international exhibition, supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation,  showed how Carroll’s famous stories have inspired images across the world.

Rochester’s Extraordinary Story Loom

28 June 2012 – 16 September 2012
The story of Barnabas Rochester’s only surviving story manufacturing machine. Curated by The Story Museum’s artist-in-residence, Ted Dewan, this installation explored whether a machine could be any match for a pen, paper and human imagination when it came to making stories.

26 Characters: celebrating childhood story heroes

5 April 2014 – 22 February 2015
Many of Britain’s best loved writers and storytellers transformed themselves into the characters they most loved as children in an exciting interactive photographic exhibition. Read more.

Draw me a Story

31 March 2015 – 31 October 2015
A hands-on family-friendly exhibition featuring original artwork, prints and sketchbooks by much-loved and respected children’s illustrators Quentin Blake, Emily Gravett, Korky Paul, Mini Grey, Nick Sharratt and Yasmeen Ismail. The associated ‘Illustrator Zoo’ offered visitors the opportunity to watch artists and illustrators at work including Steve Antony, Korky Paul, Rob Jones, Vicky Mather, David Melling and many more.

Time for Bed

March 2015 – July 2018
An atmospheric immersive bedtime installation featuring a giant bed with a patchwork quilt on which to snuggle up and enjoy bedtime stories. Plus a lullaby room, a nursery rhyme room, a sensory touch and feel wall and a host of bedtime stories.

Extreme Reading

 25 March 2015 – 3 January 2016
Our Extreme Reading gallery offered those brave enough to enter a host of ways to engage with reading in all forms.

Animal

February 2016 – July 2018
An immersive story trail exploring the role of animals in children’s stories with 12 immersive spaces and associated activities including specially commissioned interviews with Michael Morpurgo, Nick Park, Philip Pullman, Piers Torday and Katherine Rundell.

World Stories

March 2016 – July 2018
An exhibition of world stories co-curated by award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean and pupils at St Ebbe’s Primary School, Oxford. The chosen stories were available in audio form and illustrated on specially commissioned fabric hangings depicting traditional tales from Africa, India, China & Japan, Britain, Europe, Oceania and The Americas.

Happy Birthday Mr Burningham

21 March 2016 – 30 October 2016
John Burningham is one of the UK’s best-loved illustrators who celebrated his 80th birthday in April 2016. This exhibition explored Burningham’s extraordinary life through pictures, from the trail-blazing Borka: the Adventures of a Goose with no Feathers to the cherished Mr Gumpy’s Outing. With original artwork from a selection of Burningham’s picture books, the exhibition showed his unique gift for creating books that appeal across the generations and his use of widely different techniques to create unforgettable illustrations.

Ever After

February 2017 – April 2018
In February 2017 The Story Museum dispatched the Ever After, its fantastical Story Craft, on a mission to collect the 1001 greatest stories and the treasures they contain. Visitors to the Museum could enter the Control Room of the Ever After in order to give their suggestions for which stories the story craft should be capturing. The ship’s voyage was recorded in an online blog written by its crew of real authors and artists, captained by Nicolette Jones. To read the crew’s online blog visit – www.storymuseum.org.uk/everafter

Wild About Colour

17 March 2017 – 5 November 2017
In the early Sixties Brian Wildsmith’s prize-winning ABC changed children’s illustration for ever with its vivid use of colour. He went on to create over 80 dazzling and dramatic picture books which have delighted young readers and won admirers across the world. Wild about Colour explored the kaleidoscopic imagination of the late Brian Wildsmith and featured a dozen modern illustrators who share his passion for paint (Ian Beck, Anthony Browne, Emma Chichester Clark, Helen Cooper, Jo Empson, Michael Foreman, Mini Grey, David McKee, Korky Paul, Jane Ray, Emily Sutton and Shaun Tan).

It’s Always Tea Time

March 2018 – July 2018
The UK premiere of an award-winning exhibition of work inspired by the famous tea party scene in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland featuring 72 artists from 19 countries including Iran, Russia, Spain, Hungary and the Baltic States. The result was a fascinating and engaging exploration of the tea party theme, blending fantasy, fun and surrealism and suitable for all age groups. The exhibition was curated by Estonian artist Viive Noor and presented in association with the Estonian Publishers Association and the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.

Alphabetown

May 2018 – July 2018
Created by illustrator Sarah Edmonds visitors were invited to help create a new town, inspired by artwork created using Oxford’s streets, canals and hidden gems, exploring places or spaces they would like to build if they were inventing their own town. This exhibition was adapted from its first appearance in Worthing in early 2018.

Insects Through the Looking Glass

June 2018 – July 2018
To celebrate National Insect Week and in collaboration with the Royal Entomological Society, The Story Museum mounted a special exhibition all about the six-legged stars from favourite stories such as Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, and Beetle Boy by M. G. Leonard.