If you’re a Marvel movie fan and happen to be going to Brisbane, Australia in the next month, I strongly suggest visiting the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. That’s because Marvel Studios has set up a very cool exhibition titled “Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe” that chronicles the entire filmmaking process and it’s also loaded with tons of screen-used props, costumes, and concept art from Iron Man to Thor: Ragnarok. As I walked around the exhibition just a few days ago, I was really impressed with how much care and time went into crafting the retrospective and walked away hoping it might travel around the world so more Marvel fans can take a peek behind the curtain.
Since you’re probably wondering how this exhibition landed in Brisbane, it’s due to Marvel filming Thor: Ragnarok in the country. Amanda Slack-Smith, curator of Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe, explains (via Marvel):
“Our state’s film industry body, Screen Queensland, were in negotiations with Marvel to shoot Thor: Ragnarok here in Queensland, and they suggested that Queensland also has an art museum that’s uniquely suited to film-related projects. QAGOMA is the only facility in Australia to specialise in the presentation of film as an art medium within an art museum environment, setting it in a small group of international market leaders, alongside the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museum of Modern Art (New York) and Tate Modern (London).
The idea grew from this initial meeting, and it firmed up once we were able to meet the Marvel teams in Los Angeles and visit a number of their storage facilities to see the incredible props and costumes available. The filming of Thor: Ragnarok at the Gold Coast, very near the Gallery, was also important particularly when we were able to visit the sets and speak with some of the creative people working there, such as Brad Winderbaum (Executive Producer) and Dan Hennah (Production Designer) and were really able to connect with their passion for filmmaking and the franchise. Dave Bushore, Vice President, Franchise Creative and Marketing, from Marvel Studios also visited during this time and was enthusiastic about the idea of showing these objects and artworks within a museum framework.”
She went on to reveal how they decided what would be on display:
“We were in discussions with the Marvel team from the beginning about what was available from their extensive archives—and it was a lot—and then thinking about how we could present it in an art museum context. What were the thematic ideas we could draw from the films and what stories could we tell about the technical elements of filmmaking that would really make sense in an exhibition like this?
The Marvel teams were fantastic and really open to how we were wanted to tell these stories. They were supportive to our requests to the point that 50% of elements in the exhibition have never been seen outside of the set or archives. Nearly everything in the exhibition has come from Marvel with the exception of a few pieces from private collectors—such as the first issues of comics from the 1960s, which depict the debut appearances of all the MCU characters in the exhibition—and to be able to show authentic set-worn props and costumes alongside working drawings and artworks really set the tone to for the exhibition experience.”
As you’ll see in the two hundred photos below, the exhibit features costumes and props from Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok, Ant-Man, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and you might even catch a glimpse at Hulk’s massive bed in Thor: Ragnarok.
Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe is open until September 3rd at QAGOMA in Queensland, Australia.
Click on any image for high-res