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!

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

Avatar Image says: Cool! the original was always a lil confusing FIRST!!Avatar Image says: lovely.Avatar Image says: and thats alot of new material. but what scene is the one where harry has no glasses on from?Avatar Image says: SO many thanks, Jeff! They are wonderful!Avatar Image says: awesome! i wish she'd publish these. i want them :-)Avatar Image says: These look awesome!!! Thanks Jeff! :-)Avatar Image says: wow!!! I hope that exibit comes to PhillyAvatar Image says: OMG!!! I wish I could go visit this exhibition!!!!! She is absolutely awesome... oh I can see Frak getting a kick out of these! hehehe If I was freaking rich I would love to buy the "Chess one" and the one with Harry and Lupin..... LOVED IT! Thanks Sue for posting it!!!!Avatar Image says: I wished they would make lithographs. I would buy them. They're beautiful! Avatar Image says: I liked the HBP cover of Harry and Dumbledore crossing the lake! I think that it would have made for a better cover than the one we have now . . . Hopefully a 10th anniversary edition will have that one if they do one . . .Avatar Image says: As amazing as these pieces are in the photos that I took, they are just so much more awesome in person. I would recommend anyone in the mid west who can, come and see they exhibit because it is overwhelming.Avatar Image says: I live relatively near Cedar Rapids, but since I'm a college student I don't have the time to go right now. But over Christmas break it will be my goal to go and see this exhibit! I love Mrs. GrandPre's work for the series, and I'm very excited to and see these pictures in person.Avatar Image says: ooohhhh.... I'd love to see this. I hope it comes to NY one dayAvatar Image says: Thanks so much, Jeff for sharing these with us. Few things indeed provide the same impact as when witnessing them in person. But it is nice still for those of us who can't go to the museum ourselves to have a glimpse!Avatar Image says: "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." That's so sad...I wish I could turn back time and start the fandom all over again... :(Avatar Image says: I literally started drooling. AWESOME.Avatar Image says: I like the Deathly Hallows alternate cover MUCH more than the one we ended up getting. It is much more emotional.Avatar Image says: these are absolutely beautiful. sometimes i think things look even better in the sketch stage than when finished, but maybe that's just me. i love these. i actually think they should have kept the boat scene as the cover for "half blood prince." thanks jeff. :)Avatar Image says: I loved the one with Harry and Dumbledore in the boat, truly amazing art! XDAvatar Image says: harry - by that meaning him and the entire world around him- will never be forgotten. EVER. eveeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.Avatar Image says: Wow, what talent!! Thanks for sharing, Ms. GrandPre and Jeff!!!Avatar Image says: OMG! Those were AMAZING covers! I can't wait until Tales of Beedle the Bard either! :)Avatar Image says: Thanks for taking these photos Jeff! I love seeing these pieces. I think they turned out pretty well considering they were shot with a cell phone under museum lighting. I hope you aren't the only one who comes to see the exhibit!Avatar Image says: "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 feel the same way!! I saw Order of the Phoenix in theaters, and remember the scene in the Hog's Head with Aberforth where a goat randomly runs across the screen? I was the ONLY person who laughed in the whole theater! I'm so glad I heard about this, I will be in Cedar Rapids later this week and I will definitely take the time to see it. :)Avatar Image says: I love the chess picture with ron!Avatar Image says: I had the awesome opportunity to attend the opening and gallery walk of this exhibit a few weeks ago, and at that point, I can definitely tell you that I was NOT the only one there. The entire gallery was filled with enthusiastic fans (who were repeatedly told that cameras were strictly prohibited incidentally...). Hearing Mary GrandPre explain her works and her whole HP experience was fantastic. Among other things, she mentioned that the trademark Harry Potter font was just a little detail she threw into the original cover free of charge. Little did she know that it would be trademarked, duplicated and used for every HP product in the US. For those who haven't checked out her other non-HP work, take a look at the local library or Amazon. She is an amazingly talented illustrator overall.Avatar Image says: The DH sketch really should've been the cover, maybe for the deluxe version. As for Harry without glasses, that was probably the Kings Cross "death" scene, a sketch was in the DH deluxe version.Avatar Image says: Wow. These are amazing and I'm so happy that we get a chance to see them. I really hope they're put together into an Art of HP book one day.

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