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First Look: Mary GrandPre Exhibit, Including New Alternate Covers for "Deathly Hallows," "Half-Blood Prince"

Posted by: sue
November 18, 2008, 12:51 PM

As reported previously, an exhibition of works by artist Mary GrandPre has now opened at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa, and contains highlights of her work done for the US editions of the Harry Potter book series. Today, thanks to TLC staffer Jeff, we can now show you a sample of the many pieces of art in this display, including a first look at an alternative cover for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the sketch, can see Harry walking through the forest, with ghostly images of his parents, James and Lily Potter in the background. Also new is an alternate cover of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which shows the cave scene, featuring Dumbledore and Harry in a boat. (note the inferi in the water, here)

While much of the pencil sketches we have seen before, some are new, including this cover bearing the original name for the first Harry Potter book (before it was changed), "Harry Potter and the School of Magic." In the image we can see Harry slipping through the trapdoor, with a watchful (and very large) Fluffy standing guard. In relation to the first novel, we can also see a wonderful color piece  detailing the chess match, showing Ron facing off against an imposing Queen.

Other sketches of note include the DA practicing in the Room of Requirement, a solo Harry on a cover,  Harry with the Golden Snitch, and her pencil sketch for the cover of the upcoming The Tales of Beedle the Bard. You can see the rest of the photos here in our image galleries. Please note these photos were taken with a cellphone, and do not include the entire collection on display, which is currently open to the public, running now until Feb 5. Jeff writes of his experience at the museum:

The room displaying her Harry Potter work was all the way at the back of the museum.  It was a very odd feeling because the museum was closing in thirty minutes, and I was the only person there.  Something Harry Potter had finally come to Iowa and it felt as no one cared because no one was there to appreciate it but me.

I spent my time circling the room looking at piece after piece.  All but one piece, the chess scene, were pencil sketches.  Some were familiar because they were used in the books or prints have been available for purchase, but some where completely new.  I laughed a little inside at the "School of Magic" covers, thinking to myself what an awful title that would have been.  I loved each drawing as my eyes searched each piece for every little detail.

There were more light hearted pieces such as Harry and Hagrid walking down Diagon Alley from book one, to more intense and emotional scenes like Harry overcoming the boggart dementor, the Dumbledore vs Voldemort battle in the ministry, and the Priori Incantatem.

While viewing the alternate cover for "Deathly Hallows," with Harry walking through the woods to sacrifice his life, his parents faces looming over him, comforting him, a raw sense of emotion washed over me and I began to tear up, immediately taken back to the first time I read that chapter back in July 2007.  I will attest that this particular piece was my absolute favorite and the one that I take the most away from.

Thanks so much Jeff!

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Cool! the original was always a lil confusing


Posted by Austin on November 18, 2008, 12:55 PM report to moderator


Posted by beth on November 18, 2008, 01:02 PM report to moderator

and thats alot of new material. but what scene is the one where harry has no glasses on from?

Posted by Austin on November 18, 2008, 01:03 PM report to moderator

SO many thanks, Jeff! They are wonderful!

Posted by Zivlok on November 18, 2008, 01:05 PM report to moderator

awesome! i wish she’d publish these. i want them :-)

Posted by Kerri on November 18, 2008, 01:07 PM report to moderator

These look awesome!!! Thanks Jeff! :-)

Posted by Shane on November 18, 2008, 01:36 PM report to moderator
Amy Darlene

wow!!! I hope that exibit comes to Philly

Posted by Amy Darlene on November 18, 2008, 01:42 PM report to moderator
Carol Carvalho

OMG!!! I wish I could go visit this exhibition!!!!! She is absolutely awesome… oh I can see Frak getting a kick out of these! hehehe If I was freaking rich I would love to buy the “Chess one” and the one with Harry and Lupin….. LOVED IT! Thanks Sue for posting it!!!!

Posted by Carol Carvalho on November 18, 2008, 01:49 PM report to moderator
Moody One

I wished they would make lithographs. I would buy them. They’re beautiful!

Posted by Moody One on November 18, 2008, 02:10 PM report to moderator

I liked the HBP cover of Harry and Dumbledore crossing the lake! I think that it would have made for a better cover than the one we have now . . . Hopefully a 10th anniversary edition will have that one if they do one . . .

Posted by Kevin on November 18, 2008, 02:14 PM report to moderator

As amazing as these pieces are in the photos that I took, they are just so much more awesome in person. I would recommend anyone in the mid west who can, come and see they exhibit because it is overwhelming.

Posted by Jeff on November 18, 2008, 02:23 PM report to moderator

I live relatively near Cedar Rapids, but since I’m a college student I don’t have the time to go right now. But over Christmas break it will be my goal to go and see this exhibit! I love Mrs. GrandPre’s work for the series, and I’m very excited to and see these pictures in person.

Posted by Allison on November 18, 2008, 02:55 PM report to moderator


I’d love to see this. I hope it comes to NY one day

Posted by Karen on November 18, 2008, 03:02 PM report to moderator

Thanks so much, Jeff for sharing these with us. Few things indeed provide the same impact as when witnessing them in person. But it is nice still for those of us who can’t go to the museum ourselves to have a glimpse!

Posted by Lilllylove on November 18, 2008, 03:22 PM report to moderator

“Something Harry Potter had finally come to Iowa and it felt as no one cared because no one was there to appreciate it but me.”

That’s so sad…I wish I could turn back time and start the fandom all over again…


Posted by shannon on November 18, 2008, 03:35 PM report to moderator
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