Leicester's New Walk Museum and Art Gallery welcomes Magic Worlds from the V&A

By Laurence Townsend | 07 May 2013

Exhibition preview: Magic Worlds, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, May 4 – September 29 2013

A photo of an illustration of a magician on the front of a board game
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Try to impress children with the concepts of fantasy, illusion and enchantment alone and you’d come up short, but mention Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings and you’d generate more excitement.

Magic Worlds looks at these three enduring themes of magic in a summer exploration of magic and its relevance to a host of great artists, writers and magicians running from the 19th century up to the present day.

The fantasy section looks at magical worlds going back hundreds of years, with an Alice in Wonderland theme for the exhibition’s opening weekend.

During half term (May 27th-31st) this part of the exhibition – particularly fantasy literature like the Potter books – will inspire events such as wand-making and writing in invisible ink.

Optical toys and illusions on show will illustrate examples of magic, performed both on the stage and at home. Children have been gifted magic sets for more than 100 years and this second section of the exhibition aims to explore illusion throughout history, as well as in the modern world.

Fairies, dragons and other such fantastical creatures have also fascinated the public; as recently as the last century a series of photos of fairies, taken in Cottingley in Northern England, captured the imagination of the world.

The enchantment section aims to use a collection of drawings, paintings and ceramics from the V&A Museum of Childhood to illustrate this in colourful fashion.

  • Open 10am-5pm (11am-5pm Sunday). Admission free. Follow the museum on Twitter @leicestermuseum‎.

More pictures:

A photo of a toy train set
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
A photo of an illustration of a rabbit coming out of a hat
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
An image of an illustration of four fairytale-style women in long dresses
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
An illustration of two clockwork toys appearing to dance together
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
An image of an illustration for the front of a board game based around ancient Egypt
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
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