MoMA launches Tim Burton exhibit

Stepping onto the Museum of Modern Art’s third floor, museum-goers are now greeted with a gaping monster mouth with elongated fangs that leads into a hall painted with vertical black and white stripes. There’s no choice—you have to enter this scary hallway to get to MoMA’s Tim Burton exhibit, which launched November 22, 09.


The exhibit of over 700 rarely or never-before-seen drawings, paintings, photos, moving image works, storyboards, and puppets explores the full range of Burton’s creative work from childhood to his more recent work. Fans of Burton won’t be disappointed. Unforgettable films like Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and Beetlejuice (1988) are analysed alongside as his lesser-known works, like Stainboy (2000).

Viewers will get a sense of what Pop Surrealism means to Burton. Burton gained notoriety in the film world for his dark and honest approach to storytelling. The gallery exhibition is accompanied by a complete retrospective of Burton’s theatrical features and shorts, as well as a lavishly illustrated publication.

Tim Burton at the MoMA last week. Photo: Jemale Countess/Getty Images

Curator Ron Magliozzi had an “Aha!” moment while watching a special screening of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in July 2005. The idea came to him: Tim Burton—we should be presenting Tim Burton at the museum! With the help of his colleagues in the museum’s film department, a collection of  Burton’s previous work was amassed to form the exhibit.

The Tim Burton exhibit will run at the MoMA between November 22, 2009 until April 26, 2010. After that, it will move to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, Australia (June 24 to October 10, 2010). The exhibit comes to The Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada next November.

-Michael Huynh


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Filed under Events, Exhibits, Films

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