Lord of the Rings - The Exhibition
Indiana State Museum
Through Jan. 3
Although obsessive fans of the three Lord of the Rings movies are the ones who will travel over a hundred miles and take off work to catch Lord of the Rings - The Exhibition at the Indiana State Museum - one of only a few stops that included the likes of Boston, London, Sydney and Singapore; Indianapolis is its last - casual movie-watchers and lovers of movie-making in general will find something to be fascinated by.
Gandalf's sword, part of 'Lord of the Rings - The Exhibition' at the Indiana State Museum
The exhibit is a combination of traditional art, movie-making art and movie-making technology. Costuming of hand-woven silk from Indonesia, prints and hand-made artwork depicting scenes from the movie and props, props and more props fill two galleries at the ISM. Upon entering, you will be amazed at the attention to detail on a life-sized Boromir in his boat-tomb. Not only is the figure disturbingly life-like, but look at his knuckles - they are worn, as a fighter's would be.
From there marvel at Treebeard's head; the copious amounts of weaponry, most of which is engraved with Elvish or other Middle Earth script; or watch any of the videos that expand on and explain the items you are viewing. Interactive exhibits such as the motion-capture booth allow you to be part of the action: see yourself fighting as an elf or orc, or have your picture taken as a hobbit. Immerse yourself in the One Ring room. In a dark, enclosed, circular area, a ring of "fire" surrounds the edges, and in the middle is suspended the One Ring. A giant troll sculpture was created just for this exhibit. Isengard looms in one corner, as does Sauron, in his armor, before he lost the One Ring.
Though the exhibit's rooms are packed, traffic flow is smooth and you never feel cramped. Each item is placed into its appropriate context, and lighting, while dim, creates the feel each piece requires: earthy for Treebeard, ominous for Sauroman, shining for Galadriel.
This is an exhibit that is simply not to be missed.
An overnight will be held Dec. 28 that will include trivia, contests, a screening of The Return of the King in the IMAX and a chance to peruse the exhibit. At 3 a.m., the exhibit will close and guests will bed down in a galley, to awake in the morning for breakfast. For reservations, call 317-232-1637.
Lord of the Rings - The Exhibition continues through Jan. 3, 2006, at the ISM, 650 W. Washington St. Tickets are $14, which includes general museum admission. 232-1637, www.indianamuseum.org.