The British Library currently have an exhibition of Alice in Wonderland showing the re-appropriation and adaptations of the story from when it was first released, to the present day, and also a pop up shop.
I thought that it would be nice to go and see this exhibition, as it links in very well with my essay, as a big part of it is about appropriation. I found myself disappointed with it as there wasn’t much to it, I thought that the curation wasn’t very interesting, as with a narrative like this, there are so many different ways that you could display the works. Unfortunately I was not able to take photographs of the whole exhibition, as it was prohibited, but these are taken from the beginning of the exhibition, and show a quick summary of the story. I thought that the wooden frames made it look a little “last minute put together” although I did like the mirrored ideas which is clearly related to Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass.
The most interesting part of the exhibition was the first editions of the storybook, the diary of Lewis Carroll where he wrote the story, the woodcuts of John Tenniel’s illustrations, and the remakes of illustrations and representations of the book from all over the world. Throughout the beginning of the exhibition, I did really like how they had used illustrations of different points on the story by different illustrators, to show how differently it can all be personally interpreted.
I did’t find this much of a help for my research, but I did enjoy seeing the woodcuts and the initial illustrations by Lewis Carroll, which I had never seen before.
I then went to the pop up shop, and thought that this was really well put together, I especially liked the wardrobe with the Cheshire Cat on top to house the merchandise t-shirts.
Overall, I think that they had a lot of room to experiment with the curation of this exhibition and kept it very simple. I found that when I was walking around it was very small, and you had to wait to see the next book or ornamental piece, this let down the exhibition as it was hard to see everything as there was a fair few people in a small space. It did help me to visually understand the appropriation of the narrative and also see how it has adapted to people of different views, such as children to people who have grown up with so many different variations of the story.