Marvel at Marvellous Marvel Art in Australia

QAGOMA MarvelComic characters are a Very Big Deal these days, and there’s absolutely no question about it. Despite that, it’s still rare to see them in major museums.

Batman, Superman, and the good Captains America and Marvel are unquestionably works of art (just look at Alex Ross), but they are rarely taken seriously in the fine art world.

The good folks at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art are working to change that. QAGOMA is in Queensland, and is the largest modern art museum in Australia. They’ve just opened the largest presentation of Marvel art ever to reside in a major museum.

“Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe” focuses on the live-action movies, but explores every aspect of the Marvel universe. Concept art and photos from the film productions sit alongside comics, costumes, props, and actual set pieces.

The exhibition takes visitors through the entire process to create a blockbuster superhero film, starting with the initial inspiration. QAGOMA has 60 original costumes and 150 props on display, including Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s shield. All in all, more than 500 works of art are on display from private collections and Marvel’s own archive.

Walking the halls of the museum poring over comic covers and sketches, only to suddenly notice Tony Stark’s Hulkbuster armor looming up ahead, looks to be a surreal experience. The life-size set of Odin’s throne room, complete with models of Thor and Loki flanking the throne, is a highlight as well.

Meanwhile, the affiliated movie theater Australian Cinémathèque is working its way through a marathon of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, from the original Iron Man (2008) to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (2017).

Can you believe it’s been almost ten years since this whole thing started?

“Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe” is open until September 3, 2017. If you don’t happen to live Down Under, check out QAGOMA’s Instagram account. The truly dedicated can also order the exhibition’s 240-page art book.

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