27 May 2022
Exhibition: 9 July – 17 September 2022
- One of the UK’s finest collections of artworks and objects relating to Tolkien’s fantastical world
- On display for the first time in the West Midlands
- Hands on activities including dressing up, take a selfie in the Hobbit chair, and children’s craft activity area
On 9 July, all the way from Middle-earth comes an absolute must-see for Tolkien fans.
The Magic of Middle-Earth, a celebration of the incredible fantasy world which has inspired so many, is going on display in a stunning, free exhibition at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, opening on Saturday 9 July and on throughout the summer holidays.
The Magic of Middle-Earth is a magical treasure trove of over 200 rare books, objects, and artworks to explore, providing family fun for all ages, from little halflings to wizened wizards!
The exhibition includes first edition copies of the books, incredible artworks and objects from across the decades including stunning paintings of Dragons, Ents and Elves, dramatic models and dioramas including The Battle Of Helms Deep, and Middle-earth inspired video games and Lego sets.
Regarded as the “father” of modern fantasy literature, J. R. R. Tolkien has inspired creative minds of all types, from artists, musicians and film makers to environmentalists and game designers. Tolkien himself took inspiration from Worcestershire’s landscape and was a regular visitor to the Malvern Hills in the 1930s with fellow writer CS Lewis.
This exhibition comes from collector Matt Fox, who has previously broken visitor attendance records around the country with his Star Wars-themed exhibition May The Toys Be With You which was on show at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum in 2019.
“I want to really transport visitors with this exhibition,” Fox says, “and allow those who enjoy immersing themselves in Middle-earth that indulgence. This is the first exhibition to bring together and make sense of Tolkien’s cultural legacy. For me, it’s a feast for the imagination and I’m really happy to be able to share it with others.”
As well as marvelling at the amazing collection, visitors will be able to enjoy craft activities, dress up as their favourite Tolkien character, take a selfie in the Hobbit chair and follow a Mystical Quest family trail through the museum.
Some very special guests are visiting the museum for the official opening of the exhibition on Saturday 9 July. Visitors are also encouraged to come in their own Middle-Earth-inspired costumes.
The Magic of Middle-Earth is free and open Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm from 9 July to 17 September.
For more information contact the Art Gallery and Museum on 01905 25371, visit www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk or follow @worcestermuseum on Twitter.
Notes to Editors
For further information contact:
Helen Large, at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum on 01905 25371 / 722141 or email Helen.Large@worcester.gov.uk
There will be two photo opportunities at the Art Gallery & Museum:
Thursday 7 July, 11am with Orcs visiting the exhibition.
Saturday 9 July 11.30am with The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Adrian Gregson touring the exhibition accompanied by Middle-Earth characters.
Image included: The One Ring, image © Matt Fox.
Statement from collector Matt Fox: This exhibition has not been prepared, approved or licensed by the estate of J.R.R Tolkien or any of its assignees. This is not an official exhibition. The exhibitor recognises that some words, names and designations mentioned within are the property of the trademark holder. They are used for identification purposes only.
This exhibition supports the Woodland Trust to protect and plant trees.
The Magic of Middle-Earth
9 July – 17 September 2022
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum
Open Mon – Sat 10.30am – 4.30pm (closed Sundays and bank holidays)
Information via 01905 25371 or www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk
From the collector who brought you May the Toys Be With You comes The Magic of Middle Earth! Journey beyond the books to discover the artistic legacy of J. R. R. Tolkien’s incredible fantasy world.
This major new exhibition celebrates the fantasy world brought to life by Tolkien, and the generations of writers, artists, musicians, film makers, environmentalists, and game designers it has influenced. Discover a magical treasure trove of over 200 rare objects and artworks. Fun for all ages, from little halflings to wizened wizards!
Events and activities:
Opening Day Saturday 9 July, 10.30am – 4.30pm – Meet Tolkien-inspired characters including orcs and elves around the gallery and come dressed up in your best Hobbit gear!
Museum after Hours Friday 15 July 5.30 – 8pm, with DJ Ed Steelefox, Lord of the Rings-inspired cocktails and fancy dress.
Mystical Quest family trail, £1 from Museum Shop or free to download from www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk.
Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum Holiday Activity Programme 2022.
Drop-in sessions every Thursday from 28 July to 25 August, 11am to 1pm.
The summer is set to be a magical one for all the family at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum!
Drop into the Activity Space on Thursdays to ignite your imagination, inspired by The Magic of Middle Earth and The Power of Portraiture exhibitions.
Each session is £4 per child; pay on the day for all workshops except Interactive Storytelling, which requires advance booking.
Thursday 28 July – Powerful Portraits: Delve into exciting craft supplies to create your own portrait inspired by The Power of Portraiture exhibition.
Thursday 4 August – Magical Model Making: Did you know lots of models were made to create the fantasy worlds in the Lord of the Rings films? Use different materials to make a world of your own!
Thursday 11 August – Illustrate your own Book Cover: Design your own book cover inspired by the illustrators who have who have designed covers for Tolkien’s books.
Thursday 18 August – Magical Model Making: Did you know lots of models were made to create the fantasy worlds in the Lord of the Rings films? Use different materials to make a world of your own!
Thursday 25 August – Illustrate your own Book Cover: Design your own book cover inspired by the illustrators who have who have designed covers for Tolkien’s books.
Pre-bookable – Thursday 1 September 11am – 1pm Interactive Storytelling inspired by The Magic of Middle Earth. To book see www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk: Choose a character and costume, colour in a mask, and enjoy a fun interactive storytelling session! Children are welcome to come dressed up for storytelling inspired by the work of Tolkien and other fantasy worlds. Spaces limited, booking in advance is essential.
About Museums Worcestershire
Museums Worcestershire is the joint museum service of Worcester City and Worcestershire County Councils. It comprises three fantastic venues– Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, the Commandery in Worcester and The County Museum at Hartlebury Castle.
The collections and exhibitions at our sites are many and varied, covering centuries of the county’s history right up to the present day. Thousands of objects, including the historic buildings themselves, are brought to life through innovative exhibitions and events throughout the year.