Original items from the Peter Pan Collection in Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity are about to go on public for the first time in a special exhibition at the Florence Nightingale Museum at St Thomas’ Hospital. Take Me To Neverland: Peter Pan From Play to Book and Beyond opens on 12th May 2016 and examines the true story behind the much-loved classic, Peter Pan.
When author J M Barrie gifted the rights of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital, he bestowed one of the most generous bequests ever given to a hospital. This resulted in the hospital receiving royalties from every adaptation or production of Peter Pan ever staged. The result of a partnership between Great Ormond Street and the Florence Nightingale Museum at St Thomas’ Hospital, this exhibition will showcase a number of artefacts never seen before in public.
Illustration by Flora White, 1913. Courtesy of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity
The exhibition will include early editions with classic illustrations of the story including works by Mabel Lucie Attwell and Arthur Rackham, and Peter Pan’s Postbag, a collection of children’s letters sent to Peter Pan from 1906-14. Also on display is the original bell that was used as the “voice” of Tinker Bell in the 1904 play and a selection of Peter Pan memorabilia never before displayed in public.
David Barrie, great-great-nephew of J M Barrie, says:
“This exhibition is going to challenge the saccharine image of Peter Pan that Disney propagated. My great-great-uncle was a complicated man, and the dark side of his imagination is the key to understanding the real power of his greatest creation, Peter Pan. I’m delighted that this exhibition, filled with marvellous images, will help to set the record straight.”