To mark the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, is exhibiting original scale models and maquettes used in the iconic stop-motion animated film.
On display until January 14th, 2024, the exhibition titled “Dreamland | Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas” gives visitors an “open invitation to conjure fantasy narratives of their own using surreal imagery from the McNay’s collection on display throughout the gallery.”
Comprised of material from the museum’s Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts and permanent collection, the exhibition sees a presentation of original models of characters including Oogie Boogie Exposed, Bone Crusher, and Jack Skellington. Also included is a full set model of “Jack Skellington and his dog, Zero, in Jack’s Tower” made of painted wood, metal, plastic, fabric, and found objects.
In reference to Burton’s time at Walt Disney, the exhibition features a “hall of peculiar portraits” lined with subjects by artists José Clemente Orozco Farías, Pablo Picasso, Julie Heffernan, Eugene Berman, Marilyn Lanfear, Willem de Kooning, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Julie Speed, among others. Meanwhile, large-scale paintings and photographs by artists Paul Maxwell, Claudia Rogge, Robin Utterback. and Sandy Skoglund “welcome visitors into colorful and arresting worlds.”
“The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts makes the McNay unique among art museums across the country,” said Matthew McLendon, director of the McNay in a statement. “This monumental anniversary of the treasured film ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is the perfect opportunity not only to share Burton’s fascinating set and character models but also illuminate equally fascinating McNay artworks available to San Antonians throughout the year.”
“Dreamland” will run concurrently through spring 2024 with a second maquette exhibition, “Big Little Stage,” featuring more than two dozen exquisite stage models from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.
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