In the biopic coming-of-age film marked by love, friendship, and a war draft, the upcoming film starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins, ‘Tolkien’, paints a portrait of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ author J.R.R. Tolkien’s formative years. As a token to the legendary author’s life and creative process, The Morgan Library & Museum in New York unleashed its ‘Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth’ exhibit.
The exhibit weaves in the whimsical elements of Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ right off the bat by installing a custom made wall reminiscent of a Hobbiton doorway. Upon entering through the circular portal, a world marked by 115 of Tolkien’s most notable artifacts line the perimeter of the floor.
The press-exclusive exhibit led by Chief Curator, John McQuillen, and accompanied by Director Dome Karukosk of the upcoming biopic entitled Tolkien, gave an unseen insight into the British author’s life and the making of the film.
According to Karukosk, the film’s costume designer inspected Tolkien’s watercolors and beyond-its-time art pieces to inform the color palettes of the different characters.
Reminiscent of popular psychedelic art, Tolkien’s drawings and paintings came about long before that time (the 1910’s), and appeared to hint at a futuristic, elevated world. McQuillen made it clear that Tolkien did what very few fantasy writers did; he built the world first and made the story align accordingly, rather than other way around.
As an expert in linguistics, Tolkien spent a majority of his formative years inventing his own languages, later evolved into Elvish, and painting whimsical landscapes leading up to the beginning of ‘The Hobbit’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series.
Although the exhibit displays only about half of those found at the Oxford exhibit, where Tolkien attended university before his time in World War I and later taught, the ‘Maker of Middle Earth’ exhibit is a must-see for fans of the Hobbit universe and will prove to be highly intriguing for newcomers to the series.