Mechtild (mechtild) wrote,

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

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.
Tags: fandom, gifs and links, lotr exhibition

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