First Look: Mary GrandPre Exhibit, Including New Alternate Covers for “Deathly Hallows,” “Half-Blood Prince”

Nov 18, 2008

Posted by: SueTLC


As reported previously, an exhibition of works by artist Mary GrandPre has now opened at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
in Iowa, and contains highlights of her work done for the US editions of the Harry
Potter book series. Today, thanks to TLC staffer Jeff, we can now show you a sample of the many pieces of art in this display, including a first look at an alternative cover for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the sketch, can see Harry walking through the forest, with ghostly images of his parents, James and Lily Potter in the background. Also new is an alternate cover of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which shows the cave scene, featuring Dumbledore and Harry in a boat. (note the inferi in the water, here)

While much of the pencil sketches we have seen before, some are new, including this cover bearing the original name for the first Harry Potter book (before it was changed), “Harry Potter and the School of Magic.” In the image we can see Harry slipping through the trapdoor, with a watchful (and very large) Fluffy standing guard. In relation to the first novel, we can also see a wonderful color piece detailing the chess match, showing Ron facing off against an imposing Queen.

Other sketches of note include the DA practicing in the Room of Requirement, a solo Harry on a cover, Harry with the Golden Snitch, and her pencil sketch for the cover of the upcoming The Tales of Beedle the Bard. You can see the rest of the photos here in our image galleries. Please note these photos were taken with a cellphone, and do not include the entire collection on display, which is currently open to the public, running now until Feb 5. Jeff writes of his experience at the museum:

The room displaying her Harry Potter work was all the way at the back
of the museum. It was a very odd feeling because the museum was
closing in thirty minutes, and I was the only person there. Something
Harry Potter had finally come to Iowa and it felt as no one cared
because no one was there to appreciate it but me.

I spent my time circling the room looking at piece after piece.
All but one piece, the chess scene, were pencil sketches. Some were
familiar because they were used in the books or prints have been
available for purchase, but some where completely new. I laughed a
little inside at the “School of Magic” covers, thinking to myself what
an awful title that would have been. I loved each drawing as my eyes
searched each piece for every little detail.

There were more light hearted pieces such as Harry and Hagrid
walking down Diagon Alley from book one, to more intense and emotional
scenes like Harry overcoming the boggart dementor, the Dumbledore vs
Voldemort battle in the ministry, and the Priori Incantatem.

While viewing the alternate cover for “Deathly Hallows,” with Harry
walking through the woods to sacrifice his life, his parents faces
looming over him, comforting him, a raw sense of emotion washed over me
and I began to tear up, immediately taken back to the first time I read
that chapter back in July 2007. I will attest that this particular
piece was my absolute favorite and the one that I take the most away

Thanks so much Jeff!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.