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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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I literally started drooling. AWESOME.

Posted by Jessie on November 18, 2008, 04:03 PM report to moderator

I like the Deathly Hallows alternate cover MUCH more than the one we ended up getting. It is much more emotional.

Posted by Corey on November 18, 2008, 04:35 PM report to moderator

these are absolutely beautiful. sometimes i think things look even better in the sketch stage than when finished, but maybe that’s just me. i love these. i actually think they should have kept the boat scene as the cover for “half blood prince.”

thanks jeff. :)

Posted by daate on November 18, 2008, 05:53 PM report to moderator

I loved the one with Harry and Dumbledore in the boat, truly amazing art!

Posted by Darklrd on November 18, 2008, 06:54 PM report to moderator

harry – by that meaning him and the entire world around him- will never be forgotten. EVER. eveeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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

Wow, what talent!! Thanks for sharing, Ms. GrandPre and Jeff!!!

Posted by Hufflebug on November 18, 2008, 08:08 PM report to moderator

Those were AMAZING covers! I can’t wait until Tales of Beedle the Bard either! :)

Posted by PanzyApple on November 18, 2008, 08:39 PM report to moderator
Ravenclaw from Glenn

Thanks for taking these photos Jeff! I love seeing these pieces. I think they turned out pretty well considering they were shot with a cell phone under museum lighting. I hope you aren’t the only one who comes to see the exhibit!

Posted by Ravenclaw from Glenn on November 18, 2008, 10:04 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.”

I feel the same way!! I saw Order of the Phoenix in theaters, and remember the scene in the Hog’s Head with Aberforth where a goat randomly runs across the screen? I was the ONLY person who laughed in the whole theater! I’m so glad I heard about this, I will be in Cedar Rapids later this week and I will definitely take the time to see it. :)

Posted by Christine on November 18, 2008, 10:17 PM report to moderator

I love the chess picture with ron!

Posted by kerri on November 19, 2008, 06:00 AM report to moderator

I had the awesome opportunity to attend the opening and gallery walk of this exhibit a few weeks ago, and at that point, I can definitely tell you that I was NOT the only one there. The entire gallery was filled with enthusiastic fans (who were repeatedly told that cameras were strictly prohibited incidentally…). Hearing Mary GrandPre explain her works and her whole HP experience was fantastic. Among other things, she mentioned that the trademark Harry Potter font was just a little detail she threw into the original cover free of charge. Little did she know that it would be trademarked, duplicated and used for every HP product in the US. For those who haven’t checked out her other non-HP work, take a look at the local library or Amazon. She is an amazingly talented illustrator overall.

Posted by Ann on November 20, 2008, 09:30 AM report to moderator
Ken M

The DH sketch really should’ve been the cover, maybe for the deluxe version. As for Harry without glasses, that was probably the Kings Cross “death” scene, a sketch was in the DH deluxe version.

Posted by Ken M on November 20, 2008, 05:04 PM report to moderator
(The) Hufflepuff Giraffe

Wow. These are amazing and I’m so happy that we get a chance to see them. I really hope they’re put together into an Art of HP book one day.

Posted by (The) Hufflepuff Giraffe on November 22, 2008, 03:01 PM report to moderator
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