Special Exhibition

Elmer and Friends

13 October 2021 - 9 January 2022

The Colourful World of David McKee

An exhibition from Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books.

13 October 2021 to 9 January 2022

Elmer the Elephant

For the first time ever, families from across the region will be able to step into David McKee’s colourful world in this characteristically playful Seven Stories exhibition as it celebrates over 30 years of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

First stop will be Elmer’s world, where visitors will be greeted by a giant Elmer jigsaw and enjoy the ultimate Instagram moment. The adventure continues as guests walk through Elmer’s jungle, encountering characters and stories along the way.

As well as illustrations from the Elmer series there will be original artwork from Not Now Bernard, Mr Benn and King Rollo as well as the opportunity to dress up in fancy dress from the costume shop featured in Mr Benn.

Visitors will be able to explore David McKee’s vibrant illustrations in great depth through the use of many multi-sensory elements including colour, texture and sound plus visualise McKee’s use of perspective through an interactive mirrored walkway.

Copyright David McKee, 2021. Licensed by Andersen Press Ltd.

  • Opening hours:

    Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
    Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

  • Admissions:

    Annual Pass or Day Entry available

    Book now
  • Dorset Museum

    High West Street
    Dorchester DT1 1XA

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Exhibition Information

Location: Special Exhibitions

Museum Map

This exhibition is included as a part of your entrance timed ticket.




Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, works with children’s books to create meaningful experiences for children and young people, in order to fire their imagination and creativity and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world.

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Family Activities

Elmer on Tour

Elmer will be travelling around Dorset, visiting Libraries on the way. Join in the fun with activities and storytelling at each location.

Inspired by the illustrations in the Elmer books, Elmer the elephant has been decorated by pupils from Wyke Regis Infant School with the help of artist Caroline Parrott and the Dorset Museum.

  • Dorchester Library:  Tuesday 12th October until Thursday 28th October
  • Weymouth Library:  Saturday 30th October until Thursday 18th November
  • Portland Library:  Saturday 20th November – Thursday 9th December
  • Gillingham Library:  Saturday 11th December – Tuesday 28th December
  • Bridport Library:  Thursday 30th December – Saturday 8th January.


Available from 13th October 2021 until 9th January 2022

Early Years and Key Stage 1 pupils take part in our immersive and interactive workshops inspired by the works of David McKee. Themes of compassion, sharing, inclusivity are all explored during these fun workshops. Based in the Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee Special Exhibition and our John White’s Learning Centre at Dorset Museum children will have fun exploring and discovering Elmer’s colourful world!

How To Book

For booking your visit and lunch space or an unguided visit.

Call: 01305 262735

Contact us

Elmer and Friends Workshops

We’re Good To Go


We have gained the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ kitemark confirming we’re following national COVID 19 guidelines for managing visits to our site.

✔ Face masks must still be worn to keep you, our staff and our volunteers safe unless you are exempt!

✔ You must still check-in via the Track and Trace app.

✔ Sanitisation stations will still be in place and we encourage you to use them.

✔ Social distancing will remain.

✔ Regular cleaning of our interactive exhibits will still take place.

This guidance will stay in place until further notice.


Special Exhibition

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17 June - 11 July 2022, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Hardy’s Wessex: Drawing on the ancient past

This six-week course led by artist Helen Garrett will take you on a creative journey through Thomas Hardy’s work, inspirations and Dorset Museum’s collections.

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Community Exhibition

20 June – 16 September 2022

Plastics are not Fantastic

In this exhibition students from Weymouth College express their thoughts about the environment through posters, pledges and artwork.

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Family Activity

3 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday ArtyFacts

Create your own Victorian silhouette and Victorian style frame. Make your own drawn or painted Victorian portrait based inspired by the Hardy's Wessex exhibition, the Hardy's Gallery and portraits in the Artists' Dorset Gallery.

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9 July 2022, 10:30am - 12:00noon

Roman Town House Tours

A guided tour of one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England.

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Family Activity

10 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday ArtyFacts

Have fun with stencils and create your own printed fabric based on flowers and natural forms in our Dorset artist and Natural Dorset galleries.

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20 July 2022, 7:30pm

Victoria Sayles and Kirsty Barry

A visit from two musicians with strong local connections. Violinist, Victoria (Dorchester born and bred) now enjoys an international career having recently been appointed leader of the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra while Pianist, Kirsty will be remembered as a former member of staff at Thomas Hardye School.

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Festival of Archaeology: Museum after hours

21 July 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Museum after hours

Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this free late opening

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Festival of Archaeology: Talk

21 July 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

The Ridgeway Vikings: New research and findings | Heather Tamminen

Using modern digital technology, the sharp force of trauma on these individuals has been reappraised to see what new information can be learned. Bournemouth University’s Heather Tamminen will show how this technology has been able to refine the interpretations of the events that occurred and have added to the narrative of dramatic events that took place on the Ridgeway ten centuries ago.

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