Prolific horror/fantasy filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has amassed an extensive private collection of eclectic memorabilia, 500 pieces of which will be on display at LACMA beginning in July.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) April 20, 2016
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Tuesday that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will present a comprehensive exhibit dedicated to the one and only Guillermo del Toro – the dark fantasy, gothic, horror, art and monster-loving writer, producer and director who, over the course of of his career has brought us beautifully imaginative works such as Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak, to name a few.
For those paying attention on Del Toro’s Twitter account, he first announced the news himself last month:
News: I will shoot a new film in August in Toronto. Jul-Nov, LACMA will have an exhibition of my movie stuff + 500 pieces from Bleak House.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) March 11, 2016
Del Toro has spent his entire life amassing a fantastical collection of oddities and artwork, rare books, comics, toys, movie props, and even strange specimens like octopus tentacles and Fiji mermaids, all of which he keeps at a private museum house he calls Bleak House (after the Charles Dickens novel).
Happy Easter from Bleak House!! Felices Pascuas desde Bleak House!! pic.twitter.com/sA2SOolSKt
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) March 27, 2016
Notable items on display at Bleak House include “a full scale replica of Frankenstein and his bride; Ray Harryhausen’s Jason’s Argonauts standing in the garden” and “a bust of Megan from The Exorcist glued to the TV set.” Rooms and corridors within the house are named after classic authors and characters: the Dickens room, the Nosferatu corridor.
“I have secret passages behind bookshelves.” he told the HFPA. “I have a room where it rains all day. At fifty-one I live the life of a well-financed twelve year-old.”
In a 2012 Criterion Collection video tour of Bleak House, Del Toro noted that he was inspired by the curiosity cabinets of Renaissance Europe, as well as by the original research library at Disney Studios “and the philosophy that when you create a group of extraordinary artists, you should definitely feed their imagination with all sorts of images.”
“Everything in the house…it’s here to sort of provoke a shock to the system and get circulating the lifeblood of imagination, which, I think, is curiosity.”
My favorite Mu Pan. Currently in Bleak House. pic.twitter.com/BLX5O3FUeV
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) March 12, 2016
Del Toro has personally selected 500 items from his Bleak House collection for the LACMA exhibit, which will remain on view at LACMA between July and November, before going on tour with stops in Minneapolis, Toronto, Mexico City, Barcelona, Paris, and New York City.
In the mean time, you can take a peek at some of the creepy, bizarre, gorgeous, gothic, macabre, strange, scary, wonderful and wondrous items inside Del Toro’s Bleak House and hear more about his inspirations here: