Rare ‘Mary Poppins’ Artifacts On Display at The New York Public Library

Several items – including author P.L. Travers’ umbrella – being shown in the 42nd Street Library Children’s Room 

JUNE 12, 2015 – Rare artifacts associated with the beloved children’s series Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers are going on display starting today at The New York Public Library’s iconic 42nd Street building.

The display in the Children’s Room of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street will include Mary Poppins memorabilia from the Library’s Rare Book Division:

  • P.L. Travers’s umbrella, which was presented to the Library in May 1972 and resembles the umbrella Mary Poppins used to fly in the books. Umbrellas of this design were widely available during Travers’s lifetime, and Travers greatly admired one that a family maid owned and cherished.
  • A Dutch wooden doll belonging to Travers that served as illustrator Mary Shepard’s model for Mary Poppins. The doll was donated in May 1972. A member of the Library staff, Mary Anne Corrier, later fashioned the doll’s Poppins-like ensemble.
  • “N is for Nursery,” a pen and ink illustration from 1962 for Mary Poppins from A to Z by illustrator Mary Shepard.

The Mary Poppins display is temporarily replacing the Library’s permanent Children’s Room exhibition of Winnie-The-Pooh and friends – the original dolls that inspired the famous children’s stories. The dolls – which are nearly 100 years old and belonged to the real Christopher Robin – are undergoing important conservation work to ensure they can be displayed for generations to come, and will return to the Library in the coming months.

Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman.

Media Contact:

Angela Montefinise | angelamontefinise@nypl.org

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