The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum has announced the final line-up of iconic children’s TV artefacts that are set to go on display, in a much anticipated exhibition of the genre.
The Coventry museum has unveiled a list of almost 200 carefully selected and curated TV items dating back almost 70 years, from original puppets and on-screen items, to merchandise and toys, all of which will be displayed in ‘The Story of Children’s Television from 1946 to Today’, a free exhibition which opens to the public on 22 May and runs until 13 September.
The highly interactive exhibition is a celebration and exploration of children's television in Britain, and contains original material from some of the nation’s favourite children’s programmes, such as the original 1990s Tracy Island model created on Blue Peter, Gordon the Gopher from the Broom Cupboard, and the original puppets of Fingermouse, Rastamouse and Muffin the Mule.
It has been developed by staff at the museum in close collaboration with the Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick, as well as the BBC and Kaleidoscope, the classic television organisation.
The exhibition will feature children’s programmes from terrestrial and digital channels including the live and anarchic TISWAS, (Today is Saturday, Watch and Smile), which was made in nearby Birmingham and launched the careers of both Chris Tarrant and Lenny Henry.
The Coventry exhibition couldn’t be timelier, as a number of new series of classic children’s TV programmes are set for broadcast during 2015, including Danger Mouse, Clangers and Teletubbies, meaning that this new study of the past, present and future of the genre is ripe for exploration.
Dr. Rachel Moseley and Dr. Helen Wheatley from the Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick have worked closely with museum curators to provide intellectual rigour and contemporary context to the exhibition:
“Nostalgia is a major theme because it takes the viewer back to childhood, a time when life was simpler, but current programming reinvents many of the past themes and characters by using new interactive media to make them engaging and relevant for the 21st century child” they said.
As well as the historic artefacts, the exhibition will also take a look at some of the latest programming for children and their families, including the increasingly popular apps which are transforming the way young people access programmes.
Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History, said of the exhibition: “With over 70 years of wonderful programmes to call upon, we are really keen that there will be something for everyone to enjoy in this exhibition. We hope to see grandparents, parents and children all coming face to face with their favourite childhood characters and broadcast moments both past and present, proving the enduring appeal of children’s television.”
The Story of Children’s Television is at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry from 22 May to 13 September 2015.
The exhibition has been created by the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry in partnership with the Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick. It is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BBC, Ragdoll Productions, ITV, Kaleidoscope and the Children’s Media Foundation.