Major new exhibition ‘The Magic Of Middle-Earth’ to open at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum on 30 July 2021!

The Magic Of Middle-Earth, a major new exhibition celebrating the incredible fantasy world brought to life by J.R.R. Tolkien and the generations of creators it has influenced, will run at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum from 30 July to 16 October 2021.

In this free, family-friendly exhibition, collector and self-confessed uber-geek Matt Fox has assembled a treasure trove of over 200 objects – from movie memorabilia and LEGO sets to rare books and artworks – that reveal the enduring appeal of Tolkien’s creation.

Centred around the fantasy realm of Middle-earth, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings drew their readers into places that were both mythical and yet strangely familiar.


Gandalf Visits Bilbo by The Brothers Hildebrandt

Fox explains:

Middle-earth is a seemingly living, breathing world that feels real, historical and has a powerful sense of the perpetual.”


The Lord Of The Rings, 1978 Poster by Ralph Bakshi

Although regarded as the ‘father’ of modern fantasy literature, Tolkien’s cultural influence extends far beyond other writers. Middle-earth has inspired creative minds of all types and acted as a Minecraft-like toolbox for generations of artists, musicians, film makers, environmentalists and game designers.

Just as he did with his hit touring exhibition May The Toys Be With You (a tribute to all things Star Wars), Fox has again painstakingly researched and accumulated a vast collection of Middle-earth related items, all of which reflect the many and varied ways of interpreting the themes, characters and settings of the books.


An Unexpected Gathering by Lego. Image (c) Matt Fox

Fox continues:

“I want to really transport visitors with this exhibition and allow those who enjoy immersing themselves in Middle-earth that indulgence. Beginning with rare first edition copies of the books, visitors will be able to see incredible artworks and objects from across the decades. These include paintings of dragons, ents and elves, dramatic models and dioramas, such as one recreating the epic Battle of Helm’s Deep, plus Middle-earth inspired video games and toys. For me, it’s a feast for the imagination and I’m really happy to be able to share it with others.”

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