Report from Harry Potter, the Exhibition in Boston

Oct 22, 2009

Posted by: SueTLC


As noted previously, Harry Potter, the Exhibition opens this weekend at the Museum of Science in Boston, Mass. The exhibition will open wide Sunday, October 25th and run through Sunday, February 21, 2010 with ticket information available at this link. As a follow to our post below containing many photos and the special audio interview with actor Matt Lewis (Neville Longbottom) who was a guest at the museum today, TLC’s own Melissa Anelli took part in the press preview event and has the following from the event:

The most important reason to see the Harry Potter exhibit traveling around the country (currently in Boston) is this: it is the only opportunity most people will ever have to zoom in to real-size level to see the miniscule detail that has been woven into the fabric of the Harry Potter films.

Even people who have viewed the films frame-by-frame will never see the tiny registration number on the bottom of the Ministry of Magic notices, or the signatures on Ron Weasley’s Chudley Cannons shirt (all made out to him, phrased in terms of typical sportsman-like dedications – “Keep Snitching!” reads one). No one will ever see the way Voldemort’s robes seem to capture green and silver at once and when moved flows like liquid between the two, or the 100,000 Galleon bounty the Daily Prophet put on Bellatrix LeStrange’s head.

More than the atmosphere, which is artfully created, more than the fog over the Forbidden Forest or the impressive appearance of the Hogwarts Express at the mouth of the walkthrough – it’s being able to get right up close and view what was so painstakingly, carefully created for a film that purposefully ignores it in the aim of larger cohesion.

Leaky readers will remember the previous report posted of the HP Exhibit in Chicago – the exact same exhibit has been transferred to Boston. The exhibit has been constructed to take a person from an “entrance” to the Hogwarts world, through the common rooms and classes, and out through the grounds of the castle, carefully around the edges of the Forbidden Forest and Dark Arts repositories, and up again to the bright gold of the Great Hall.

Audio guides feature input from the filmmakers and creators, and swerve from pointed and revelatory (Dumbledore’s wand was chosen from six varieties, purposefully made to stand out from the rest; the fabrics used on Umbridge’s costumes were chosen to oppose the character’s personality) to slightly unexplored (the choices for Snape’s costume are only called “perfect” for him without any explanation, all that’s said about the Golden Egg from GoF’s fabrication is that the kids had to figure out how to interact with it).

It’s about the intricate handle of Snape’s wand, the many folds on the Marauder’s Map, the careful placing of Parvati’s costume with the Divination set, the tidbit that the brooms are created with aircraft materials, the Daily Prophet headline about Ollivander’s disappearance (“Where will we buy our wands now?”), the WANTED posters for Amycus and Aleto Carrow. It’s about the way Fleur’s parchment for the Goblet of Fire looks like it was fashioned by fairies and Viktor’s looks as though it was hammered from the hide of a wildebeest he killed in the Bulgarian forest that morning. Those are the things that will never be seen in any of the films, but which have been crafted so carefully, closely and lovingly, that it almost begged an exhibit to finally show them to the public.

Be sure to check out photos from the event today with Matt here, and our extensive collection from the stop in Chicago,here.

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.