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Jasen Emmons, EMP's director of curatorial affairs, said one of the longest processes was finding some of the original artifacts featured in the exhibit.
Jasen Emmons, EMP’s director of curatorial affairs, said one of the longest processes was finding some of the original artifacts featured in the exhibit.

Maybe you’re an aficionado who has poured endlessly over Tolkien symbolism, or just a 90s kid who fondly remembers “Xena: Warrior Princess.” Or, maybe you stumbled on to “Game of Thrones” one day on Netflix and haven’t missed anything since.

Whether it’s an old Disney movie or Dungeons and Dragons, most everyone has a favorite fantasy story. It’s an avenue of pop culture we’re all familiar with, whether we realize it or not.

The latest exhibition at the Experience Music Project Museum (EMP), Fantasy: World of Myth and Magic illustrates the far-reaching scope of the fantasy story throughout recent history. Showcasing artifacts from fantasy films, novels, and television shows, the exhibit looks at the archetypal figures and meticulously constructed worlds that make famous stories timeless.

After over a year of planning, building and designing, the exhibit will open this Saturday. We got a sneak peek of the action and have some photos to share below. Some items, like the featured pages from Tolkien’s original manuscripts, cannot be photographed. Of course, for the aficionados out there, those things may be better left to the naked eye, anyway.

EMP curator Brooks Peck tests out an interactive feature in the exhibit's first room. The feature explores the fantasy genre's archetypes as they apply to famous stories.
EMP curator Brooks Peck tests out an interactive feature in the exhibit’s first room. The feature explores the fantasy genre’s archetypes as they apply to famous stories.
AR EMP peterpan
Of several interactive features of the exhibit, this screen allows viewers to look through century-old children’s letters written to fantasy characters like Peter Pan.

AR EMP DesignWEB

Emmons thought one of the most exciting artifacts for viewers would be Princess Buttercup's original wedding gown from Princess Bride.
Emmons thought one of the most exciting artifacts for viewers would be Princess Buttercup’s original wedding gown from Princess Bride.
The exhibit features original pages from the manuscripts of fantasy authors like Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin.
The exhibit features original pages from the manuscripts of fantasy authors like Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin.
The exhibit's first room features a mix of graphic work ups and iconic clothing from various iconic fantasy titles.
The exhibit’s first room features a mix of graphic work ups and iconic clothing from various iconic fantasy titles.
Created exclusively for the exhibit, the dragon tail hangs out from prison bars in one area of the exhibit. The EMP just finished a naming contest for the dragon. "Adalinda" was the final decision.
Created exclusively for the exhibit, the dragon tail hangs out from prison bars in one area of the exhibit. The EMP just finished a naming contest for the dragon. “Adalinda” was the final decision.
The headpiece worn by Tilda Swinton in the cinematic rendition of C.S. Lewis's "The Chronicles of Narnia."
The headpiece worn by Tilda Swinton in the cinematic rendition of C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
The iconic Xena costume worn by Lucy Lawless in the 90s TV show, "Xena: Warrior Princess."
The iconic Xena costume worn by Lucy Lawless in the 90s TV show, “Xena: Warrior Princess.”
In another interactive feature of the exhibit, viewers can create a map to their own fantasy world.
In another interactive feature of the exhibit, viewers can create a map to their own fantasy world.

 

Designed by local artists at Lead Pen Designs, a metal firefly hangs over the exhibit. The two eyes of the firefly will feature a short video about the importance of good and evil in fantasy stories.
Designed by local artists at Lead Pen Designs, a metal firefly hangs over the exhibit. The two eyes of the firefly will feature a short video about the importance of good and evil in fantasy stories.
In another feature designed exclusively for the exhibit by Lead Pen, 50,000 pieces of polished zinc were glued down to create a huge metal tree in the center of the exhibit. Emmons said the forest is a central feature of many constructed fantasy worlds, making the metal tree a unique and relevant addition to the exhibit's design.
In another feature designed exclusively for the exhibit by Lead Pen, 50,000 pieces of polished zinc were glued down to create a huge metal tree in the center of the exhibit. Emmons said the forest is a central feature of many constructed fantasy worlds, making the metal tree a unique and relevant addition to the exhibit’s design.

 

 

Previously on GeekWire: A gamer’s dream: ‘The Art of Video Games’ debuts Friday at the EMP

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