Find out more about the Victoria and Albert Museum’s upcoming Alice in Wonderland inspired exhibition…

Salvador Dali, A Mad Tea Party, 1969, © Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS 2019. Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Lynne B. and Roy G. Sheldon, 1999.

On display from the 27th March 2021, Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser will celebrate Lewis Carroll’s beloved story taking visitors on a journey through Alice in
Wonderland’s origins, adaptations and reinventions over 158 years.

Bringing together over 300 objects spanning film, performance, fashion, art, music and photography, this exhibition will explore the ongoing cultural impact that Alice and her adventures continue to inspire artists such as Salvador Dalí and The Beatles.

Alice in Wonderland. The Royal Ballet. Zenaida Yanowsky ©ROH, Johan Persson, 2011. Costumes by Bob Crowley.

Highlights of the display will include Lewis Carroll’s original handwritten manuscript, illustrations by John Tenniel, Ralph Steadman and Disney, stage costumes, fashion from Iris van Herpen and photography from Tim Walker and Annie Leibovitz. It will all be displayed alongside theatrical sets, large-scale digital projections and immersive environments.

The exhibition has been designed by award-winning designer
Tom Piper – best known for his stage designs for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the V&A as well as his Tower of London poppies installation and will feature secret doors and interactive displays for the curious minded visitor.

Alice at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Illustration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by John Tenniel, 1865 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser will begin with a section examining the origins of Alice in Wonderland in Oxford to uncover the people, the places and the politics that inspired Lewis Carroll to write this story. Meanwhile, the section titled Filming Alice will concentrate the creative development of Alice on screen throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, starting with the earliest film based on the books in 1903.

Visitors will continue to journey through the world of Wonderland as the exhibition explores reinventions of Wonderland through works by Salvador Dalí, Yayoi Kusama, Max Ernst and Peter Blake as well as the music of The Beatles. This reimagining Alice section will see a visual experience taking place at a Mad Hatter’s tea party, brought to life through psychedelic and playful digital projections. Other sections will see the display concentrating on stage adaptations of the story and exploring the modern day fascination with Alice and her adventures.

The exhibition has been curated by Kate Bailey, Senior Curator of Theatre and Performance at the V&A who said: “With our world class collections of art, design and performance and founding mission to inspire the next
generation, the V&A is the perfect place for an exhibition on the cultural impact of Alice in Wonderland across artistic disciplines. Alice encourages us all to question, to learn, to explore, and to dream – discovering why she’s an endless source of inspiration for some of the world’s most creative minds has been an extraordinary adventure. We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages into Alice’s magical and mind-bending Wonderland, to imagine their own world on the other side of the Looking Glass.”

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum from the 27th March until the 31st December 2021.


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