Alice in Wonderland Exhibition
Venue: British Library, London
Admission: Free entry
Dates: Until 17 April 2016
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
The British Library is currently hosting a special exhibition on Alice in Wonderland to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the novel’s publication. I had to make two attempts to visit before I actually made it inside the exhibition – it was that busy the first weekend! It does show though just how popular and enduring this children’s classic still is 🙂
The exhibition is nicely separated out into two sections – one is a fun timeline of the story itself told in a bit of a storyboard style and using original illustrations from various iterations of the novel. There are definitely some of the more classic and recognisable illustrations and quotes that many visitors will recognise. The timeline section is a nice summary of the plot and gives you a chance to relive the classic tale which has featured in many a childhood in the space of 10 boards.
The second section displays Alice in Wonderland memorabilia and through them tells the history of the novel – everything from manuscripts and first editions to illustrations showing the more modern interpretations of Alice in Wonderland. I found it fascinating to find out who the character Alice was based on, how the original manuscript looked and how society has taken Alice and her story and reimagined it in many different ways throughout the ages. The Picasso-style interpretation of Alice and the Carlsberg beer advert were probably my favourites!
The best thing about the exhibition was that it was interactive and engaging – it was very photogenic and I did find myself taking a few pictures! The storyboard section will definitely appeal to kids whilst the adults among us who remember growing up with the novel will likely find the history of the book interesting. I also liked that the exhibition was brief and didn’t try and overload visitors with information. The items on display tell their own stories and it was fascinating to see how a novel written in 1865 is still so relevant and loved today.
The exhibition is on until 17 April and so I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re a fan and what better time to visit than during the Easter break? There’s also a pretty awesome gift shop with items, such as notebooks, candles, home ware, Etsy-like jewellery and obviously different editions of the book itself.