Grayson Perry on his way to York thanks to Tweeting teddy bear

Perry and Padmin, together at last: artist Grayson Perry (photograph: BBC) and Padmin Bear
30 Jan 2014 @ 8.13 am
| News
Perry and Padmin, together at last: artist Grayson Perry (photograph: BBC) and Padmin Bear
Perry and Padmin, together at last: artist Grayson Perry (photograph: BBC) and Padmin Bear

York’s venerable museums will never have experienced anything quite like it. Grayson Perry, the prize-winning, cross-dressing artist is on his way to play hide and seek with a giant teddy bear.

Why? Because we want him too. More than 5,000 people for Grayson to come to the special event at the Yorkshire Museum on May 15 in the Museums at Night Connect10 competition.

Four museums were battling it out to win Grayson but the Yorkshire Museum topped the vote, ahead of the Freud Museum, Courtauld Gallery and the Museum of Soho – all in London.

This followed a Twitter campaign by York Museums Trust, led by Padmin Bear, one of the teddies in the trust’s collection. Padmin visited the Jorvik Viking Centre, the Theatre Royal panto and other city institutions, Tweeting all the time as @MuseumBear.

Twitter star Padmin the Bear, his six foot brown bear friend from the museum's taxidermy collection and guide Rania Zein-Elabdin. Photograph: York Museums Trust
Twitter star Padmin the Bear, his six foot brown bear friend from the museum’s taxidermy collection and guide Rania Zein-Elabdin. Photograph: York Museums Trust

Grayson agreed to put Yorkshire Museum on his shortlist of potential venues to visit because he liked the idea of a giant game of teddy bear hide and seek.

His own childhood teddy and muse Alan Measles sometimes features in the potter’s work.

Grayson, 53, is from Chelmsford, Essex. He is best known for his ceramic vases and the fact that he sometimes dresses as his female alter-ego, Claire.

In 2003 he won the Turner Prize, and last year gave the prestigious Reith Lectures on BBC Radio Four.

“We are absolutely delighted that Grayson Perry is coming to the Yorkshire Museum,” said Gaby Lees, assistant curator of art learning

“Our bear campaign really seemed to capture the imagination of people and we would like to thank everyone who voted for us.

“The results show that we had nearly 5,500 votes – the most any museum has ever got in the history of the Museums at Night competition.

“We will now work with Grayson to plan the fabulous teddy bear themed free event, which will take place in May.”