TOLKIEN fans are immersing themselves in Middle-Earth again with the release of Amazon Prime prequel series Rings Of Power – and now secrets of the iconic fantasy books are about to be revealed in a new exhibition.
Compiled by collector Matt Fox, ‘The Magic of Middle-Earth’ – a treasure trove of more than 200 exhibits and artworks exploring the legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s tomes – is touring the UK and opens in cathedral city Lichfield this Saturday.
Collector Matt Fox at the exhibition
It’s a celebration of the fantasy world dreamed up by the author, ranging from a rare 1937 first edition of The Hobbit to a modern day LEGO Lord of the Rings model, taking in everything from paintings to computer games.
The first edition is also a first impression copy, meaning that it came from the very first print run, and was one of the first 1,500 copies off the press. “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit…” it starts.
Watch out, too, for paintings and sculptures of elves, orcs and dragons, a diorama depicting The Battle Of Helms Deep, jewellery inspired by the books and movie memorabilia.
There’ll also be family fun and kids’ activities to ensure that the exhibition will appeal to Hobbit halflings and wizened wizards alike. Best of all, it’s free to get in.
Regarded as the “father” of modern fantasy literature, Tolkien has inspired creative minds of all types, from artists, musicians and film makers to environmentalists and game designers.
Collector Matt Fox was previously best-known for his Star Wars-themed exhibition May The Toys Be With You.
The exhibition runs at The Hub @ St Mary’s, in Market Square, Lichfield, from September 24 to December 11. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 4pm, and on selected Sundays when there are also autism-friendly sessions.
Weekday booking is not generally required but is advised at weekends and during school holidays. See the event website for more details, and to book a timed entrance slot.
Admission is free, although you will be asked if you’d like to make a donation, not least because The Hub at St Mary’s is a registered charity and not-for-profit coffee shop.
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