Lovecraft and Moore on Display at L.A. County Art Museum Guillermo Del Toro Show

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View of LACMA’s Guillermo Del Toro exhibition, including life size figure from Pan’s Labyrinth. Photos by Joe Linton

It is not directly related to Providence, but there is plenty of H.P. Lovecraft and even a bit of Alan Moore at the L.A. County Museum of Art’s Guillermo Del Toro At Home With Monsters exhibition on display now through November 27.

The show travels to the Minneapolis Institute of Art next year February 26 through May 21, 2017 and then to the Art Gallery of Ontario from September 30, 2017 through January 7, 2018.

Guillermo Del Toro is, of course, the director of numerous fantastic and horrific films. He is also big fan of both H.P. Lovecraft and of comics.

The exhibition displays visual art, sculpture, films, props, comics and other objects, primarily from Del Toro’s personal collection. This is topped off by some similarly-themed artwork from the museum’s collections.

I did not expect to see any Alan Moore, but, among a lot of original comics art, there are two framed From Hell pages, but Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. 

From Hell pages on display at Del Toro show at LACMA
From Hell pages on display at Del Toro show at LACMA
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Detail panel from From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Fascinating to see the use of white-out to cover and to bring up highlights
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Panel from From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

Other original comics art on display includes Richard Corben, Robert Crumb, Will EisnerRick Geary, Moebius, Winsor McCay, Mike Mignola, Gahan Wilson, and Jim Woodring.

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Mike Mignola drawing depicting Guillermo Del Toro, Mignola, and Hellboy
Drawing by Robert Crumb
Drawing by Robert Crumb

Lovecraft is represented by a life-sized realistic sculpture, the work of Thomas Kuebler.

Lifesized statue of H.P. Lovecraft xxx
‘I Am Providence’ life-sized statue of H.P. Lovecraft by Thomas Kuebler
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detail view of Lovecraft sculpture

There are also several Lovecraft busts, a painted portrait and even some preliminary sculpture renderings for Del Toro’s proposed adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.

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Various H.P. Lovecraft sculptures from Del Toro’s collection
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Painting of H.P. Lovecraft by Michael Deas

There are several of Del Toro’s notebooks on display. These are reminiscent of a Commonplace Book, and include Del Toro’s own sketches.

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Drawing of “Un minero del Arkham” by Guillermo Del Toro

There is plenty more to see, from Lord Dunsany, to Edgar Allen Poe, to horror artists H. R. Geiger and Zdzisław Beksiński. Plus lots more life-sized horror sculptures.

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1924 edition of Lord Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter
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More life-sized sculptures: Thomas Kuebler’s Edgar Allen Poe, and by Mike Hill: Jack Pierce (Universal’s chief make-up artist) with actor Boris Karloff, and Ray Harryhausen

If you find yourself anywhere near Los Angeles, Minneapolis, or Ontario, make plans to check out this exhibition likely to appeal to readers of Providence.

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Props from Hellboy movies
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13 thoughts on “Lovecraft and Moore on Display at L.A. County Art Museum Guillermo Del Toro Show

    • Was Prometheus based on At the Mountains of Madness?

      I saw Prometheus back when it came out, and agree it was quite meh/didn’t really make much sense.

      Or is there some kind of studio/contractual thing regarding Prometheus that is prohibiting Del Toro from making At the Mountains?

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      • I think Fuzzy Bastard is referring to the plot similarities. you could argue they’re superficial similarities or you could argue they’re very fundamental similarities. It’s unfortunate that there have been so many things that riff on the ideas of Mountains of Madness that an adaptation at this point almost seems redundant in a world with The Thing, Prometheus, Hellboy, etc.

        It could still be done, you always would have needed to add some character stuff to that story to make it a palatable movie, so it could theoretically still feel original. and cut out the penguins…

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      • those damn penguins… they always struck me as one of the all-time goofiest Lovecraft concoctions. probably because they’re not at all “lovecraftian”!

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      • Did anyone read League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Heart of Ice? Moore and O’Neil try their best to make penguins scary.
        I think while a lot of people can at least sorta share HPL’s revulsion towards undersea creatures, penguins are on the long list of things that gave Howard the screaming meemies but make the rest of us go, “…… wait… that?”

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      • Thanks, MS and That Fuzzy Bastard!

        I haven’t read At the Mountains of Madness (in fact everything I know about Lovecraft is from Providence and these annotations haha), but reading the Wiki plot, I can see how Prometheus is somewhat similar if you switch Antarctica for alien planet. There’s also that “a black, bubbling mass, which they identify as a Shoggoth,” and I remember a black goop as being a big part of Prometheus. And the big alien who just wakes up and wants the astronauts dead is fairly Elder Ones-ish.

        It’s too bad Del Toro feels that way, but I’m glad there’s some hope. Then again, maybe a new original work by Del Toro would be even better?

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  1. Eddie Campbell was selling From Hell pages in his self-published comic book Bacchus about ten years ago. I snapped up the Christchurch Spitalfields splash page that way, which I think he charged me about £80 for. It’s framed above my desk as I write this in my North London home, just a short walk from the real church itself.

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  2. He signed it for me too!

    Living as close as I do to Spitalfields, I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw that page was still available on the Bacchus list I happened to see. I’ve been offered quite a bit of money for it since, but still not enough to consider selling.

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