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:

    10% discount for Annual Pass or Day Entry booked online using discount code DM01

    Book now
  • Dorset Museum

    High West Street
    Dorchester DT1 1XA

    View Map

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.


Community Exhibition

18 February - 22 June 2023

The Art of Seeing: An exhibition of photographs by Dorchester Camera Club

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Special Exhibition

22 March - 25 June 2023

ARTIST ROOMS Louise Bourgeois

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28 March 2023, 11:00am - 12:00noon

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1 April 2023, 10:00am to 4:30pm

One day life painting pose

This is a structured class that will take students through the traditional monochrome underpainting approach to painting the figure in oils. Same pose all day…

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Special Event

1 April 2023, 3:00pm - 7:00pm

The Great Museums Easter Trail 2023

Have an egg-stra special start to the Easter holidays with The Great Museums Easter Trail. A family-friendly event from Dorset Museum, The Keep Military Museum, and Shire Hall Museum, you can visit all three museums in one extraordinary afternoon.

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Family Activity

4 April 2023, 10:00am-12:00noon

Louise Bourgeois’ Spirals | ArtyFacts

Make patterns, shapes, and spirals by drawing, painting, printing, and paper crafting. Inspired by Louise Bourgeois' artworks.

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4 April 2023, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Archaeology Highlights Tour

Explore archaeological treasures held by Dorset Museum – from Bronze Age gold to medieval silver -  in this volunteer-led tour.

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Family Activity

6 April 2023, 10:00am-12:00noon

Louise Bourgeois’ Spirals | ArtyFacts

Make patterns, shapes, and spirals by drawing, painting, printing, and paper crafting. Inspired by Louise Bourgeois' artworks.

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Museum after hours

20 April 2023, 5:00pm - 6:30pm

FREE | Museum After Hours

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

Find out more