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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Yep, I went to the LotR Exhibit in Indianapolis, Oct. 24, 2005....

Posted on 2005.10.24 at 16:48
Tags: , ,
Well, I went (11 1/2 hours to drive down, 12 1/2 hours back - Shees!, and got back late last night.

The LotR Museum exhibition definitely lived up to expectation. You who went to see it elsewhere said it was great, and it was. The displays were well-designed and what was displayed showed quite a suitable variety of what characterized the various cultures. The variety was especially good when one considered that there really wasn’t a plethora of “stuff.” I had not expected to see all the artwork. There were many sketches and drawings. I loved being able to pore over them, and I did.

Personally, I grieved the lack of any costumes for several favourite characters (the hobbits other than Frodo were represented only by Sam’s pack and a swatch from Merry’s braces). How I would have loved to see a complete set of the lead hobbits' costumes, displayed together. And Bilbo's waistcoat with the gold buttons, of course!

But even more I grieved the absence of any costumes for Elrond and Eowyn, whose clothes I just adored (some of Elrond’s accessories were there, but not his clothes). It was not as difficult to forego seeing Eomer or Faramir represented, because there were examples of soldiers’ wear from Rohan and Gondor, including Theoden’s fabulous armour and a costume for an Ithilien ranger. But the clothes for Eowyn and Elrond … Oh, sigh.

As for the costumes that were included, others of you already have extolled their beauty and workmanship. I will just underscore how wonderfully well-designed I thought Saruman’s costume was. Peering at it, I was reminded of exquisite antique church vestments I once had seen displayed in glass cases in New York’s St. John the Divine Episcopal cathedral. “Appropriate,” I thought, to make that subliminal connection, since this maia wizard was not only powerful in magic but was supposed to be a spiritual leader of sorts.

The props were absolutely wonderful, including and, perhaps, especially, the books and papers from the library of Minas Tirith and the book of Saruman (opened to the page with the picture of the balrog). From the papers used to the calligraphy, all obviously hand-done, they were utterly convincing.

“Convincing” was a good word to describe all of what was on display. One did not feel as though one were looking at a display of costumes, sets and props, but a display of ancient artefacts. Everything was exquisitely detailed. The things from the film that were supposed to be in good condition merely looked beautifully preserved. Other things looked more worn and aged.

I have forgotten, already, much of what I was going to say about what I saw. I blame that on all the rules. Not only was picture-taking prohibited in the exhibit, one was not even allowed to sketch or take notes. I did try sneaking some notes on the back of my program and, sure enough, a guard came up and chastised me. I put the pen and paper away. *sniffle* These were not the museum's rules, note, but the rules of the travelling exhibit. I have to say, the "no note-taking" rule especially mystified and irritated me. Still, the museum staff from the ticket people to parking garage people were exceptionally nice, courteous; ever eager to help when help was needed.

Edited to add:

Link to Shelbyshire's pics of the Museum exterior with Frodo banner:


Link to TORN's thumnails of exhibit items (linked by Taerie, Nov. 15):


Link to full costume shots for Frodo (linked by Taerie, Nov. 15):


Taerie's Nov. 14 LJ entry with big exhibit pics:


Taerie's Nov. 15 LJ entry with big exhibit pics:


It was lovely, too, to get to meet other K-D’ers, some of whom I have never posted with. Variously present were Ariel, MsMaggot, SandCastles, Goldenberry, Shelbyshire, Hewene, saile, esmeraldabrandybuck, tgshaw, shilohmm, Cricket82, and Bridget Chubb (not everyone attended everything, but everyone attended the museum exhibition on Saturday morning the 22nd, however).

Please forgive me if I forgot someone on this list!

I will save the seeing of the films for another LJ entry.


pearlette at 2005-10-24 22:59 (UTC) (Link)
Yaaaaaaaay. :)

I'm glad you're back. :hug:

How were all my gals? :)

PS. That thing about no note-taking is ... weird. :puzzled:
mechtild at 2005-10-25 02:31 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Pearl. Yes, the note-taking prohibition was extremely strange. Even the sketching I could think of a reason for (e.g. a sketch takes a little or a lot of time, which would mean standing in front of an exhibit for longer than they would like, perhaps).

All the attendees seemed to enjoy themselves -- or they appeared to. I will be on the look-out for posts from other hooters to see what they have to say.
elasg at 2005-10-24 23:04 (UTC) (Link)
And, might I add, it was also very lovely to meet you! You were everything I expected and I wished we had had more time to talk! Thank you for coming such a long way. You made the event!
mechtild at 2005-10-25 02:34 (UTC) (Link)
I wished we had had more time to talk, too, Ariel. I enjoyed meeting you so much -- and your daughter, too. She was really fun to talk to. What a doll!

Thank goodness you agreed to share a hotel room with me, though, or we would not have got to talk as much as we did. I barely said two words to some of the attendees -- also whom I'd never met -- which I regret.

mariole at 2005-10-24 23:24 (UTC) (Link)
I totally envy the KDers you got to meet! This is me, waving at you all! *waves*

I'm sorry about your disappointment with the missing clothes. (Heh; not _those_ clothes.) But you know how it is: Elrond is a notorious clothes horse, and would not let anything out of his wardrobe for the exhibit. Eowyn has completely changed her image now that she's Princess of Ithilien, so felt the clothes were a little dated. Either that, or she and Faramir were just far too happy to think beyond themselves, for which we must forgive them.
mechtild at 2005-10-25 02:41 (UTC) (Link)
You are so funny, Mariole! But I really wanted to see at least one of Eowyn's gowns. I loved the green dress that Ngila talked about in the EE, the darker dresses she wore in both Meduseld scenes (TTT, "rick, cot and tree;" RotK, waiting for Theoden's decision to answer the beacons); her coronation dress was stunning -- and you barely got to see it! Only her white TTT dress disappointed me. It had a lovely design, but it didn't read that well, construction-wise, I thought. It looked sewing machine made (to me). I almost expected to see a zipper up the back.

You are right: Elrond is a clothes horse. Or Hugo Weaving is, LOL. How he rhapsodised over his costumes, including the layers that could not be seen. His comments made me want to look at his costumes more than ever.
(Anonymous) at 2005-10-25 07:55 (UTC) (Link)
Glad to see you back.

mechtild at 2005-10-25 12:21 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Estë. (((hug)))
golden_berry at 2005-10-25 15:39 (UTC) (Link)
My dream is for there to be, someday, a LOTR costume exhibition. All the costumes. Like the Jackie Kennedy clothing exhibit, only better. In fact, why not a LOTR costume MUSEUM? Ooooh yeah, baby!

mechtild at 2005-10-25 23:06 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, GAWD, Goldenberry, that would be wonderful. I might actually pay to take a plane for that.

When I was young, I saw a big costume exhibit made up of costumes worn in 20th Century Fox films. That was thirty years ago at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It must have had hundreds of costumes -- all worn by stars of films made during the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. It was just thrilling to me, for I am a fan of old films.

How much more nuts would I be to go to an exhibit with all the LotR costumes? GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
lembas_junkie at 2005-10-25 15:51 (UTC) (Link)
Great post; too bad EII wasn't so hot, but great that you got to see the trilogy on Imax (as you know, I *love* Imax!), hang out with the Haremites/K-Ders and see the exhibit. About that sketch/picture taking thing - sheesh!! I know I would have been a little irritated, too. Curses!


Really, though. What's the point? I'll give you a comparison situation. At the Tower of London I took out my camera and snapped a couple of (flash-less) and (I thought) discreet photos of the crown jewels as I slowly moved past on the giant human conveyer belt. I know, I'm an idiot - I shouldn't have tried it, but heck...I did it anyway. :D So as soon as I get three pictures, up comes the taaaaallest, huuuuugest lady in a uniform I ever saw!

"STOP TAKING PICTURES, PLEASE!" she boomed. Eeeeks! I got off the belt and she gave me a stern look...but to my utter relief, she did not take out my film and expose it! But she and every other radio-connected guard there eye-balled me as I walked out after another trip on the belt (no camera this time).

I have those pictures in my album as a momento. :D

Anyway, my point is that she had a *good* reason to stop me; I could've been anyone, taking pictures of the security system to come back later and steal the biggest diamond in the world, along with all the other crown jewels in those velvet-lined glass cases. ;) But I was just me, Lembas, acting on impulse and acting on my snap-happy urge to take pictures of *everything*.

I guess I just don't think the LOTR exhibit needs to worry about that sort of thing. Do they? Their movie inspired artistic minds world-wide...why won't they let those people come, appreciate, and record their own version of that (which they *paid* for)? Are they as worried about thier stuff getting stolen as the Tower of London people are?

Knowing what I do now about their silly enforced RULZ, it makes me want to *find* a way to get around them at their next stop. So!... they wanna stop us from expressing artistic freedoms, eh? We'll see about THAT! :D

Lembas :)

p.s. Welcome back, by the way! :D So glad you liked your little present! *hugs*
mechtild at 2005-10-26 02:32 (UTC) (Link)
You poor thing, singled out by the Tower guard! At least they didn't toss you in jail as a would-be terrorist.

You are right: what is the point of all these rules at the LotR exhibit? All I could think of about picture-taking is that the accumulated effect of the flashes might diminish the exhibits' colour. Or maybe they just thought a lot of flashing cameras would spoil the atmosphere in there (it's quite dark, with the displayed items carefully lit). As for sketching, I suggested elsewhere that they wouldn't like to encourage people to do the amount of loitering necessary to sketching. If they want to keep the crowds moving, they won't want people sketching. As for the note-taking, I just don't get it, no matter how I ponder it. A senseless rule.
wendylady1 at 2005-10-25 17:43 (UTC) (Link)

I'm so glad you had such a great time...having met quite a few of those good ladies myself, I know how nice it is to meet up with people you have chatted with online for months...

I have a theory with regards to the Exhibition and its missing links...and I made a mistake about who I saw it with too !! When I saw it in London, it was just after "The Two Towers" came out, and one of the costumes of one of the principle characters was missing as it was "in use " - for pick-up shots I reckon...anyway, I went with a group of people from Tolkien Online, not from KD...in fact, I hadn't even joined KD then, so I hadn't met Pearl or Maeglian or anyone else !!
I reckon that the exhibtion I saw is exactly the same one as you have just seen, and it hasn't been updated for ROTK at all, and only barely had the info for how Gollum and Treebeard were filmed, ( including the full size model of Treebeard, I must say ) with regards to TTT...did you see anything that was exclusively from the ROTK at all ?
I never saw anything pertaining to Eowyn, or Elrond,either, and only saw one dress each for Galadriel and Arwen, more's the pity ( even though they WERE good dresses...
Yes, Goldenberry, I agree...we want a full LOTR Exhibition with ALL costumes on show...I would travel all the way to New Zealand to witness that, wouldn't you ? !!
mechtild at 2005-10-26 02:39 (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I remember a "strictly RotK" item except Anduril, Narsil reforged, which was just gorgeous (though Glamdring and its scabbard surprisingly wowed me; I LOVED the colour of the scabbard).

Arwen had two costumes, lucky us -- and -- one of them was from RotK, I am sure! It looked to me like the dress she wore under another drapey, tunic-y sort of thing that matched it, in the scene in which she leaves Rivendell and, riding through the woods, sees the vision of Eldarion then rides back to confront Elrond about it. It's a greyish-blue with a wide yoke all around the neckline made of something silvery-glittery. The other costume of hers was the riding outfit she wore in FotR, when she carries the poisoned Frodo before her on Asfaloth. It was very yummy, too.
maewyn_2 at 2005-10-26 10:03 (UTC) (Link)
Puff, puff, gasp... I finally got here! Sorry I haven't had a chance to comment before, but I've been sort of occupied (MOME!). I spent HOURS last night putting together my new sig pic and writing up my piece, so it was another late night!

So... I'm glad you had an enjoyable time on your little sojourn to the south!

As I said in TORC, I also can't understand the no note-taking rule. What damage is that going to do??

However, I'm sure the total experience is burned into your brain, so you wouldn't have needed to take notes anyway!

mechtild at 2005-10-26 12:17 (UTC) (Link)
However, I'm sure the total experience is burned into your brain, so you wouldn't have needed to take notes anyway!

But now my brain is in ashes. ((((Maewyn)))) I'm glad to see you are having fun at MOME. Your Tribbles sig is so funny!

And, yeah, the no note-taking rule was a mystery. And an aggravation. Grrr.

taerie at 2005-11-07 21:02 (UTC) (Link)

October 10 Indianapolis Indiana

That's when I dragged my poor, long suffering husband from Lawrence Kansas (a long drive) to see it. He loves LOTR enough to comment after the last movie that now he can die in peace. He was afraid that the world might end or something before all of them came out.
But even he is somewhat mystified by my crazed focus on poor little innocent Frodo. LOL!
Anyway I enjoyed it a lot and was also disappointed in the lack of hobbit clothes except for Frodo's costume and the bracers and such. I also missed Eowyn's costumes. For some reason I really love the stuff she wore the most.
I would have loved to see those funky buttoned pants that Frodo wore too.. and both big and small versions of his stuff. I was astonished to see how tiny STING was! I have one of the replicas.. (Incredibly sharp and scary.. You can't really play with it without risking cutting your own head off.) on the wall AND I was so impressed by the quality of the toy Sting that they sold in the gift shop that I went home and did a web search and bought it for about half what the museum was asking. (FUN and safe to swing around. Okay I'm too old for this but who cares? Have AT you!) But NOone makes it as tiny as it was in the museum and if they do I would like to know where to get a hobbit sized one.! It makes sense though. It is the only one I have seen that really could be a big elf dagger as I think it was originally before Bilbo got it.
The no pictures and no note taking thing was really obnoxious. If they were going to insist on this then in my opinion, they should have published a catalog of the exhibition like some do. (I got a lovely catalog when I went to see the "All The Queen's Horses" exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park of ancient and more recent horsy type tack and stuff.
I wanted so much to sketch stuff but yes.. I did feel eyes watching me.
HOWEVER,I have found in my wanderings online photo's of many of the exhibits to remember it by. I don't know how this was done unless somebody knew somebody or something.
Boromir in the boat was hackle-raising realistic. (Except his hands. I did notice that.)
The costumes surprised me. Somehow in the back of my mind I guess I was expecting them not to look real up close. But they did. I could believe that Gandalf really did wear that. It was laced under his beard in a way that would never appear on camera but like the whole thing was so well thought out. The secret of doing such a great work as that movie was I guess is to get talented people who care about the fantasy. That WANT to make it real. Never more evident than there right before you. Every stitch visably crafted by elven hands or whatever.. repaired by the very hands of Strider (Or the actor who played him as was explained on one of the signs.)
Sorry this is so long but I have never encountered anybody who cared about this stuff except for here. I was so excited and pleased to get to see this. I bought the little super posable Frodo in the gift shop.. partly because he is in his buttoned pants and bracers but mostly because it does rather look like him and it is smiling. All the way home I harrassed my poor husband with it as he was trying to drive. Making it make Frodo comments to him in Frodo's voice, telling him what he wanted to eat when we stopped for fast food and the like. He said "WHOS idea was it to invite a hobbit along?" LOL.
mechtild at 2005-11-07 23:26 (UTC) (Link)

Re: October 10 Indianapolis Indiana

He was afraid that the world might end or something before all of them came out.

I felt that way, too, tell him. *big, understanding smile*

You went on the 10th? That was not long after it had opened, am I correct? It was lovely, yes, but I wanted more! I remember feeling the same way, incidentally, seeing the hobbit-sized Sting in its display case. I had only seen human-sized replicas, and even those you'd hear people saying of, "It's so small!" when it would be for sale at a store. What if they had seen the dagger-sized Sting! When I looked at it in Indianapolis, I remember saying to another fan..."It's so, so tiny for a sword! To think that Sam used that to stab Shelob! All the more am I impressed!" It is too bad you have not had a place to gush over the costumes and props before. I think I have been extolling them from the films on messageboard threads for ages, and have been reading people's museum exhibition reports since fans from threads began seeing the exhibit (in London and Boston, I think).

The aging and detail work on costumes was more than sensational. That's what I was going on about above. They looked like antique clothes in a museum, not theatrical costumes. It was another fan who pointed out to me that Gandalf's laced neck opening was visible. It was gorgeously done -- and never viewed!

HOWEVER,I have found in my wanderings online photo's of many of the exhibits to remember it by. I don't know how this was done unless somebody knew somebody or something.

Do you remember where you found it or what search words you used? I have had no luck finding snap shots. Maybe people have taken their pics down by now.

Super-bendable-posable Frodo? Here's the one that I bought, pictured below. He's been a very cooperative model. However, he was very badly behaved when we brought him to Hawaii, flirting with local women everytime my back was turned. Starring in highly-rated fanfic has made him unmanageable.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

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