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See Middle-earth come to life in a new exhibit dedicated to everything Tolkien

There are few places that spark our collective pop culture imagination like Middle-earth, the land where J.R.R. Tolkien set the adventures of his The Lord of the Rings and its prequel, The Hobbit. And if you’d like to immerse yourself in the world Tolkien created, then there’s a new exhibit that might just be perfect for you.

The first map of Middle-earth Tolkien ever designed, between 1937 and 1949. © The Tolkien Trust 1992, 2015

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is the upcoming exhibit organised by The Morgan Library & Museum of New York City. It’s “the largest collection of Tolkien material ever assembled in the United States,” said the organisers, who collaborated with the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford University, The Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust and private lenders to put everything together.

The exhibit features Tolkien’s original dust jacket designs, like this one for The Hobbit. © The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937.

The exhibit will feature around 120 items from family photos and memorabilia of Tolkien as well as his original maps, illustrations, manuscripts and designs from when he was first putting the world of The Lord of The Rings to paper. “It presents a unique opportunity to understand the intensely visual imagination, the dedicated scholarship, and the aspects of daily life that shaped Tolkien’s most treasured works,” it reads in the exhibit’s description.

Other highlights of the exhibit are the personal photos of Tolkien, like this one taken in his study around 1937. © The Tolkien Trust 2015.

“It’s as if we are looking over his shoulder while he composes and illustrates his vision of Middle-earth,” said John McQuillen, Associate Curator of the Library. “We get to glimpse moments in the creation of the narrative, such as when he changes the wizard’s name to Gandalf or suddenly comes up with the idea of the One Ring”. Thanks to all the material collected, visitors can really walk along Tolkien and his world-building process and see how his beloved stories were born.

The exhibit allows visitors to see how key moments of the story were born, like this study of the fire writing inscribed onto the One Ring. © The Tolkien Trust 2015.

The exhibit will open on 25 January and remain at The Morgan Library & Museum until 12 May. Admission is $20 for adults and $13 for seniors and students – and free on Friday evenings.

Tolkien also did several illustrations for his books which are featured in the exhibit, like this one from The Hobbit. © The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937.

If you’d like to know more about the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibit, you can check out its official website here.

The post See Middle-earth come to life in a new exhibit dedicated to everything Tolkien appeared first on Lonely Planet Travel News.
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