Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 Days of Halloween: Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

I thought the perfect way to kick off October and the Halloween season was to check out the Tim Burton exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibit has been open since May, but I knew it would be so much more fun if I attended October 1st so I could have a proper, spectacular kick-off to the spooky season!

Mister Spooky and I arrived at the museum on a warm Saturday morning (it still feels like summer in SoCal!) and quickly purchased our tickets with ghoulish glee. Since we got there fairly early, there was no wait, though the actual exhibit was a bit crowded. I didn't care though, I was just in awe of all the amazing Burton art around me! Mister Spooky probably got quite sick of me squealing like a schoolgirl and grinning ear-to-ear every time we entered a different room!

Tim Burton's "Balloon Boy" at LACMA

From the LACMA site:

Tim Burton was born in Burbank in 1958. After studying at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), he worked as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios before breaking out on his own. Taking inspiration from popular culture, fairy tales and traditions of the gothic, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of a personal vision.

The exhibition brings together over 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, including art from a number of unrealized and little-known personal projects. Many of these objects come from the artist's own archive, as well as from studio archives and private collections of Burton's collaborators. Hundreds of never-before-exhibited artworks and sketches will be joined by a selection of film posters accompanied by music composed for the exhibition by Burton's longtime collaborator Danny Elfman.

We spent about an hour to an hour in a half wandering through the exhibit (and doubling back and re-wandering through again!). I loved looking at all of Burton's handwritten notes, like the one detailing the plot to Beetlejuice! I also loved all the puppets and maquettes they had on display from his various films...I wish I could take them all home with me! The highlight of the show was the art from a Burton project that never came to fruition, called Trick or Treat (I REALLY wish they would make this!). I hoped they would be selling prints of these works, but no luck!

 Tim Burton - untitled (Trick or Treat)

This was a well curated exhibit that showed Burton's versatile yet signature style and covered the majority of his projects! I left a happy camper (and I couldn't resist picking up a few things from the gift shop) and if you adore Tim Burton or are just in the mood for something spooky this October, I highly encourage you to attend this special exhibit! It's only on through October 31st, so make sure to go soon!

And I highly recommend getting there early, as the exhibit fills up fast and there can be a pretty long wait to get in if you show up mid-day.

Check out some pics of the exhibit below (you were not allowed to take photos in the exhibit, so these are from around the web and I don't claim ownership of them):

 Tim Burton's Glow in the Dark Room!

 One of my favorite Tim Burton pieces - untitled (Blue Girl)

 Batman Returns / Edward Scissorhands room

 The Nightmare Before Christmas

 Nightmare Before Christmas Skellington expressions

 Corpse Bride puppet

 Creepy crawlies

 Edward Scissorhands costume

 Handwritten poem

 Vincent maquettes

 Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

Frankenweenie maquettes

Sleepy Hollow scarecrow

 My new poster!


  1. I saw this exhibition in Melbourne (Australia) when it was here, almost a year ago. It was so popular that we waited in line for 4 hours to get in. It was definitely worth the wait, though!!!

    They did a very cool promotion for it here. They had a black Victorian-style funeral carriage, with plumed horses, being driven by a "headless horseman". The carriage moved around the streets near the exhibition.

  2. Wow...such fabulous stuff there! I think I love the 'Trick or Treat' art piece best of all! I love his quirky creative vision and would totally enjoy something like that. Thanks so much for sharing the images! :o)

  3. YAY! I'm so happy that you were able to see the show!

    I saw the exhibition when it was a MoMA! Ed and I actually lucked out and was able to get into the show early in the morning when there weren't too many people there. Did you see his drawing, "Never Shoot a Constipated Poodle?" hehehehe ... I love Burton's sense of humor!

  4. I would love to go see this exhibit! It's awesome they let you take pictures! Thanks for sharing them! Those pieces look amazing!

  5. I would love to see that exhibit! I frequently daydream that it comes to Dallas.

  6. Very cool! I especially like the untitled (trick or treat) piece! He really has amazing talent!

  7. I am so jealous!! We never get anything half as cool as that in boring Ireland. Argh!! Looks amazing.

  8. This looks like a wonderful exhibit! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  9. I'm catching up on all the posts I missed during October.
    So glad you made it and so sad I missed it.

    I've been hearing a lot about his pre-production art on Trick or Treat but can't really find much info on it.
    Wish there was an art book or prints or something to look over...


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