by Stephen Dafoe
A new exhibit officially opens at the Musée Morinville Museum Sept. 7, combining a collection of teddy bears and teapots into an historical teddy bear tea.
It’s been 109 years since composer John Walter Bratton penned the popular children’s song Teddy Bear’s Picnic, but the stuffed toys are as popular today as they have been since the name was coined when American President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a clubbed bear his hunting colleagues tied to a tree back in 1902.
Toy manufacturer Morris Michtom is said to have crafted the first bear after seeing a political cartoon of Teddy refusing to shoot the bear.
Despite the toy’s origins in less than delicate origins, teddy bears have been a part of childhood ever since, as has the tradition of having a tea party with stuffed bears.
The Musée Morinville Museum is hoping those fond memories of childhood will draw people out to see their new exhibit of teddy bears and teapots.
Operations Attendant Donna Garrett said the collection was donated by the family of Jane Van Zyll Langhout (1928-2015), an avid collector of all things teddy bear.
“She was a collector of everything,” Garrett said, noting the teapots on display were also part of her collection. “She collected monkeys as well.”
The Musée Morinville Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. For more information visit museemorinvillemuseum.com.