Magic Worlds at New Walk Museum, Leicester

So, it’s half term, it’s rained…a lot and I’m at an exhibition of fairies, magic and classic childrens’ literature at the New Walk Museum and I want to wear a tee-shirt that says something like
“I’m a parent…..honest” as hundreds of children tear around us dressed as pixies, wearing rabbit ears to take part in a mad hatters tea party, practise their incantations or watch, slightly bemusedly, Sootie and Sweep in glorious black and white.

It’s actually a carefully put together collection, with some little treasures, a drawing by Albrecht Durer, some fantastic Victorian magicians handbills and film of a young Paul Daniels.

If you want a nostalgia fix, maybe go in term time and relive your first meeting with Narnia, the Golem and the rabbit hole, but if you want to really experience how this exhibition really works, choose at wet Sunday afternoon and watch its real audience enjoy it.

Magic Worlds

Magic Worlds: Fantasy, Illusion and Enchantment
4th May – 29th September 2013
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Magic Worlds is a family-friendly exhibition which delves into the spell-binding world of magic and illusion. Created by the V&A Museum of Childhood, Magic Worlds invites visitors to explore the fantastical realms of witches, wizards and fairies and celebrate the conjuring feats of the finest stage magicians.

Designed around the themes of fantasy, illusion and enchantment, the exhibition will feature a huge range of costumes, tricks, vintage toys, paintings, ceramics, illustrations, posters, puppets and games. Visitors will find displays based on their favourite fantasy tales, including Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Objects on show will include film replicas of Harry Potter’s broomstick and the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings, as well as vintage Cinderella and Prince Charming mechanical dancing dolls and puppets of characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dating from the 1940s.

A touring exhibition from V&A Museum of Childhood.

Ray Harryhausen

The exhibition also includes a case of objects made by the legendary visual effects artist Ray Harryhausen (1920 – 2013) on a special loan to the museum. He was inspired by the collection of stories in Arabian Nights to use stop-motion model animation to bring the magical world of Sinbad the Sailor to life in the big screen.

The display includes Ray Harryhausen’s own copy of Arabian Nights and objects from all three Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad films. Objects loaned to the museum by kind permission of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation:

View the Magic Worlds image gallery to see objects from the exhibition.

Free admission

Opening Times:
Monday – Saturday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday: 11.00am – 5.00pm




About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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