Sunday, October 5, 2008

Maison d'Ailleur's Opening Fête

The tall shaggy creatures of Yuocland arrived from their high pastures to attend the opening of the Verne/Dinotopia exhibition.

Also there were performances by the eccentric troupe Gramoulinophone.

A few regular visitor/commentators to Gurney Journey made the trip. At left: Jeanette, me, "Dragonladych," "cegebe," Dragonlady's mom, and Jerome. Later I met John Howe for the first time, and I greatly admire his work.

The new passageway between the two museum spaces was opened with speeches and giant balloons, which were kept aloft by many hands until they popped with dull booms.

Inside Maison d'Ailleurs was the exhibition "Retour à Dinotopia," with 53 new paintings from Journey to Chandara. (Photo above by Olivier Allenspach). The exhibit filled three floors of the museum, with maps blown up to gigantic size on the floors, and with films, miniatures, and behind-the-scenes panels. The show will be on view until March 8, 2009.

But the really big event was the opening of the new Espace Jules Verne, the preeminent museum collection of Verniana. When you cross the new passageway, you enter the adjoining building in what looks like a large library, with thousands of rare editions of Jules Verne and his followers, as well as American pulp magazines and posters.

Museum director Patrick Gyger shows me one of the glass cases of model vehicles from the various Verne novels.

The collection was generously donated by the Jean-Michel Margot, originally from Switzerland, and now living in North Carolina. I had the privilege of sitting with him for a supper of stag stew, and did this quick portrait.

I also made this on-the-spot sketch in the style of an old poster of Maison d'Ailleurs, the world's most wonderful departure point for extraordinary journeys.


Anonymous said...

Hi James!

Thanks again for your kindness. It was great to chat for a bit.

I am a little sad I didn't get to ask Jeanette about her own works, she said she hadn't taken her sketchbook but I would have loved to see it! I know I loved her sketches that you posted here.

Enjoy the rest of your stay!

Dorian said...

I'll check it out in December!!

love the poster sketch, too :]

David Still said...

Wow - I'd love to go to that show, but sadly my student budget will not allow me.
How was John Howe? I'm a great fan as well, he's my favorite of the Tolkien illustrators, followed by Alan Lee, of course.

Erik Bongers said...

That make-shift poster is pure Winsor McCay. Hope they will order a worked-out version, although the sketch has charm of it's own.

Them swiss cheese rarebits aye? Wake up James, wake up !!!

mordicai said...

Oh that looks freaking great. I'm used to being spoiled by things like this being in my 'burb-- New York-- & am feeling the sting of envy (my just deserts).

Pinflux said...

Hey James, you were a bit player in a dream I had last night, presenting an animated show on painting that I was watching. You sounded different to what I was expecting.

Sarah Stevenson said...

Congrats! Looks fantastic. I love the sketch.

Robb said...

Freaking love that poster. Please let me know how/if/where/when I can get/buy a high-res copy or poster of it! Love it as it is.
Thanks for continually amazing posts!!

ricardo said...

Oh, wow. That's very cool.
And did you meet John Howe??
How was it? What did you guys talk about?
I wish I was there recording everything. :P
(I'm also a big fan of his work)

Anonymous said...

Finally back from my trip round Switzerland and France. I'm glad I took the time to go to Yverdon. A beautiful little town, and it was nice to meet James, Jeanette and Dragonlady.

The exhibition was wonderful. Nothing beats seeing those Dinotopia illustrations in the flesh.