Ray working on the skeleton model

Credit: The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation

The fantasy world of Ray Harryhausen comes to Devon

Ray Harryhausen is a legendary figure in the history of animation through the models that he created for films such as Jason and the Argonauts, One Million Years B.C, and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. A selection of items from The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation’s collection will be exhibited at The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter throughout the summer until 7 October.

The exhibition provides an opportunity to see models made by Ray Harryhausen, including creatures such as Kali and Talos, as well as artwork and storyboards. There are some original items from the films and a large number of copies made by Ray used also for production.

The late Ray Harryhausen and his wife Diana lived in London for many years where Ray made most of his films following his move from Hollywood and the Foundation that bears their name continues to promote Ray’s work. The influence of Ray Harryhausen’s art is as strong as ever, with fans including Tom Hanks, Tim Burton, Nick Park, Peter Jackson, James Cameron and John Landis, and many contemporary fantasy spectaculars owe a debt to the models, characters and effects that he created.

Dr Phil Wickham, Curator of The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum said: “We are thrilled to be hosting an exhibition from The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation this summer. Ray’s work remains extraordinarily popular with audiences of all ages and this exhibition at the South-West’s own cinema museum offers the chance to see over 30 artefacts from across his career and experience his creative process. We look forward to welcoming fans and families to our museum this summer”.

Tony Dalton, the Curator of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation and Ray Harryhausen’s biographer said: “The Foundation is delighted that this exhibition is to be held at one of the great UK film museums.  It is our task to show people how unique and imaginative Ray was. This exhibition will show that he didn’t just animate but that he conceived, designed and constructed his iconic creatures”. 

A free lecture on Ray Harryhausen’s work will be given by Tony Dalton at the museum on Wednesday 17 September. The exhibition is at the entrance to The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum in the Old Library building at the University’s Streatham Campus. It is accessible to members of the public everyday between 10am and 5pm and is free of charge.



Date: 25 July 2014

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