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Minneapolis Institute of Art to To Present First Museum Retrospective of Famed Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro

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Minneapolis, MN [February 1, 2017]—The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will present an exhibition offering a rare glimpse into the mind and creative workings of famed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro’s first museum retrospective, “Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters,” will be on view at Mia March 5 to May 28, 2017. The exhibition reveals the creative process behind del Toro’s singular vision by bringing together elements from his films, objects from his vast personal collections, and drawings from his notebooks, alongside objects del Toro has selected from Mia’s permanent collection.

Conceived and initiated by Mia and co-organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), “At Home with Monsters” features a diverse range of media, including sculpture, paintings, prints, photography, costumes, ancient artifacts, books, maquettes, and film. More than 500 objects will be featured.

“This exhibition is the latest in a series at Mia exploring process and inspiration as the cornerstones of human creativity,” said Gabriel Ritter, Mia’s curator of Contemporary Art and site curator of the exhibition. “Del Toro’s insatiable curiosity drives his creative process. His work is informed by his remarkable knowledge of art, literature, and his sensitivity to the inherently flawed nature of humankind. At the same time, he finds inspiration, nourishment, and wonder in objects of all kinds, seeing no divide between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture.”

Said del Toro: “To find beauty in the profane. To elevate the banal. To be moved by genre. These things are vital for my storytelling. This exhibition presents a small fraction of the things that have moved me, inspired me, and consoled me as I transit through life. It’s a devotional sampling of the enormous love that is required to create, maintain, and love the monsters in our lives.”

Exhibition Themes and Highlights

The exhibition is organized into eight thematic sections:

  • Childhood and Innocence, exploring the central role children play in many of del Toro’s films;
  • Victoriana, which loosely references the Romantic, Victorian, and Edwardian ages, as well as latter-day interpretations of the Victorian era;
  • Rain Room, a recreation of a favorite spot in Bleak House, the suburban Los Angeles home that houses del Toro’s personal collection, featuring a false window and special effects to simulate a perpetual thunderstorm—the best atmosphere for del Toro’s creative process;
  • Magic, Alchemy, and the Occult, exploring the many puzzles, talismans, secret keys, and quests for forbidden knowledge that appear in del Toro’s films;
  • Movies, Comics, and Pop Culture, delving into the scope of del Toro’s obsession with comic books and cinema, from B-movies and horror films to works by directors Alfred Hitchcock and Luis Buñuel;
  • Frankenstein and Horror, revealing del Toro’s lifelong love affair with the tale of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster;
  • Freaks and Monsters, considering del Toro’s fascination with monsters of all types, from those found in horror movies to those in nature, literature, myth, and art;  and
  • Death and the Afterlife, which speaks to the disturbing confrontations with death that del Toro experienced as a child, and the use of fantasy in his work to explore spirituality.

An original soundtrack by Academy Award-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla will accompany the exhibition.

Tickets are $20; $16 My Mia members, or free for My Mia members at the Investor level and above. Purchase online or by calling 612.870.6323.

Catalogue and Programming

“Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters” is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Insight Editions. The 144-page volume is edited by Britt Salvesen of LACMA, Jim Shedden of the AGO, and Matthew Welch of Mia, with contributions by Guillermo del Toro, Keith McDonald, Roger Clark, and Paul Koudounaris. The hardcover catalogue is $29.99 and is available at The Store at Mia.

Mia will host an opening celebration on Saturday, March 4. Guests will be among the first to see “At Home with Monsters” and experience the museum in a whole new light. Activities include a cash bar, tarot card readers, and more. Tickets are $35; $30 My Mia members. Tickets go on sale for My Mia members on February 14 and on February 21 for the general public. Purchase online or by calling 612.870.3000.

Programming related to the exhibition at Mia includes a film series co-presented by The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul featuring del Toro’s films and those that have inspired him. Attendees will also enjoy del Toro–inspired cocktails, surprises, and special activities. Pre-film entertainment provided by Trailer Trash. The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, March 10: The Devil’s Backbone
  • Sunday, March 26: Frankenstein
  • Friday, April 14: Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Friday, May 5: Crimson Peak

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the film begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $5; free for My Mia members. Ticket sales begin February 14 for My Mia members, and on February 21 for the general public. Purchase online or by calling 612.870.6323.

Mia will also host two Third Thursday events highlighting the exhibition’s themes. The events are free and feature live music, a cash bar, and themed art-making activities. Admission to “Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters” is free for guests who join My Mia.

  • Thursday, March 16: “At Home with Monsters”
  • Thursday, April 20: “Nerd Thursday


This exhibition was co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

Major sponsor: Delta

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation of the arts and cultural heritage fund.

About Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro (b. 1964) is one of the most inventive filmmakers of his generation. Beginning with Cronos (1993) and continuing through The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Pacific Rim (2013), and Crimson Peak (2015), among many other film, television, and book projects, del Toro has reinvented the genres of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Working with a team of craftsmen, artists and actors—and referencing a wide range of cinematic, pop-culture, and art-historical sources—del Toro recreates the lucid dreams he experienced as a child in Guadalajara, Mexico. He now works internationally, with a cherished home base he calls “Bleak House” in the suburbs of Los Angeles.