The British Library explores the curious world of Lewis Carroll’s beloved story in an exhibition that celebrates the legacy it still has on readers 150 years since it was first published.
From the second that visitors step into this free and new exhibition at the Museum, you are immediately transported into a world that was uniquely created by Lewis Carroll and how his words have been interpreted by many different artists and illustrators over the years.
The first section that visitors will have a look at includes many different quotes from the book, printed on top of some of the many different works of art created for different versions of the story. It is a charming introduction to the exhibition and what it will be exploring, but also a reminder of some of the highlights from the book.
Just like the book itself the layout gets curiouser and curiouser – despite being well signposted along the way the exhibition is in an awkward space that makes everything feel slightly crammed together.
But there is plenty to see and enjoy, while at the same time allows the visitor to develop a better understanding of the book. The display uses Lewis Carroll’s diary and handwritten manuscript as the starting point for the exhibition and provides a fascinating insight into the way in which he created the original story.
There are various different versions of the book on show – including a version that was illustrated by Salvador Dali, revealing how Carroll’s descriptions of his characters and of Wonderland itself has been interpreted in many different ways.
Yet it isn’t just books on display. There is a whole range of different objects on display from cups to games – all revealing how influential Carroll’s story is on a wide range of people.
This is particularly seen in the section that focuses on contemporary versions of Alice in Wonderland, that includes computer games that bring Wonderland to life, pop up books and contemporary paintings by artists trying to put their own style on the story and characters.
Fascinating and engrossing, this exhibition does bring out the child within and is a fantastic celebration for a book which was the first of its kind to prove that children’s books could be entertaining.
Alice in Wonderland is a free exhibition at the British Library. It opened today (20th November) and will be on display until the 17th April 2016. For more information visit: http://www.bl.uk/events/alice-in-wonderland-exhibition .