Fantasies and Fairy Tales at LACMA

Der Tod als Erwürger (Death the Strangler) by Alfred Rethel, 1851

One of the newer exhibits currently at LACMA is Fantasies and Fairy Tales, which features artwork and graphic design mostly from the late 1800s and early 1900s that was inspired by myths, fairy tales and legends. There are a few recent outliers, however, such as the Filmore poster by Bonnie Maclean (shown in the gallery). I was surprised not to see any English artists like Arthur Rackham represented, or as a friend mentioned, the Danish illustrator, Kay Nielsen. The connection between the theme and certain pieces was a little hard to determine, but the art is beautiful all the same. Also on view was Lotte Reiniger’s “Aschenputtel,” a stop-motion paper cutout film of The Brothers Grimm’s Cinderella from 1922.

In “Death the Strangler,” above, Alfred Rethel used the Danse Macabre allegory to eerily depict an 1831 cholera outbreak in Paris. Cholera is represented by the ancient Egyptian figure in the back.

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Simone Snaith

About Simone Snaith

Simone Snaith writes young adult and fantasy novels, and sings in the band Turning Violet. A fan of scifi, fantasy, the supernatural and most things from the '80s, she enjoys reviewing music, books and movies. You can read about her own books at simonesnaith.com.
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