EMP’s Fantasy Exhibit
EMP’s Fantasy Exhibit:
A Must-See for Fantasy Fans
By: Terra Clarke Olsen
Washingtonians are a lucky bunch. We have great seafood, great coffee, great people, but also a great collection of unique museums, including the EMP Museum. For those who haven’t been, or for those who are about to visit Seattle, now would be the time to go! EMP’s latest exhibit, Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic, is simply their best yet.
I was lucky enough to attend EMP’s opening night for Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic, and all I can say is “Wow!” That was my word of the night. I realize that this is a cop-out, but once you see what the exhibit offers, you’ll find yourself saying that over and over again.
I have an EMP membership, so I’ve been to many of their previous exhibits. They never disappoint and always leave the viewer in a state of delight. But this time they have really outdone themselves. As soon as you step into the exhibit hall, you’re transported to another reality– on of fantasy and wonder. Every step and turn is an experience. The artifacts are placed among an enchanted forest, complete with medieval courtyard, beautiful armored tree, and giant dragonfly (that serves as a viewing screen). There is even ‘hay’ on the ground. It is this kind of attention to detail that transports the museum goer into an adventurer.
Although the exhibit hall alone is worth a trip to the EMP, the real value of the exhibit is the collection itself. The collection not only offers a diverse look into the fantasy genre, but the artifacts are the crème de la crème of the fantasy world. For me, the manuscripts from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are the exhibit’s crown jewels. I stood there in a state of disbelief. Oh, did I mention that they’re covered in handwritten edits by Tolkien, including an ink drawing of the Moria Gate?! Yeah. This Tolkien nerd was in a state of bliss. Other artifacts include the Goblin King costume worn by David Bowie in the Labyrinth, Jim Henson’s notebook dated from 1983; and Xena costume (to name just a few). The exhibit also has a life-sized animatronic dragon!
In addition to all the amazing pieces, the EMP offered special interactive features for opening night, such as an Armor and Sword fighting demo and an iron throne photo op. The fantasy experience was completed by attendees who dressed for the occasion (personal favorite pictured below). For any fantasy fan, this exhibit is a must-see. I’m already planning my second visit.
EMP MUSEUM HOURS
Winter Hours: Now through May 25, 2013, 10:00am–5:00pm
325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109
206-770-2700, main line
206-770-2702, box office