This Alice in Wonderland exhibition takes us through the looking glass

Curiouser and Curiouser: the V&A’s upcoming Alice in Wonderland exhibition is an immersive descent down the rabbit hole, for fans of the story’s many interpretations

Alice in Wonderland has inspired fashion, food, art and film, and continues to do so to this day. So it seems only right that the V&A would celebrate the cultural significance of Alice’s much-loved and often-revisited adventures in Wonderland, almost 160 years after the book was first published. 

Lewis Carroll’s enduring masterpiece is a true celebration of the wonderful madness of imagination, and the exhibition is sure to pay tribute to that. Divided into five sections, the exhibition will chart the creation of the story, its subsequent reimaginations, and our enduring fascination with Alice and the kooky characters she meets along her way. 

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser will take visitors all the way back to the book’s publication in 1865 with Lewis Carroll’s handwritten manuscript and John Tenniel’s original illustrations for the first edition, and trace the different interpretations of the story that have emerged since. 

Other items on display will include Mia Wasikowska’s Alice costume and Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter costume from Tim Burton’s 2010 adaptation, as well as rarely-seen notes and original concept art for the much-loved 1951 Disney animated version. You will also be able to see photography by the iconic British fashion photographer Tim Walker – the subject of the V&A’s current major exhibition – and Alice-inspired fashion designs by Vivienne Westwood and Iris van Herpen. Artworks by Salvador Dalí and music by The Beatles will also feature.

But no description can quite capture the mindbending experience that the V&A has in store for us. Innovative staging and large-scale projections will bring the rabbit-hole and its raft of iconic characters to life in the V&A’s subterranean Sainsbury gallery. Promising to be a theatrical and immersive experience, the exhibition will explore the story’s “origins, adaptations and reinventions over 157 years”. 

This unmissable exhibition will open at the V&A Museum on June 27 and run for seven months. It is open every day from 10AM-5PM, except Fridays when it is open 10AM to 9PM. Tickets cost £20. 

Image credit: Rex

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