'Harry Potter: A History of Magic' Exhibit Finds New Home in New York

Warner Bros. Pictures/Photofest

The exhibit, which opened its doors in October and runs through Jan. 27, 2019, combines the real-life history of folklore and magic that influenced the creation of Potter's world with over 100 artifacts displayed celebrating J.K. Rowling's creations.

Though the Harry Potter series first hit bookshelves 20 years ago, the magic-centered franchise has continued to cultivate a loyal fanbase ever since. So much so, that after making its rounds at the British Library, the famed exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic has traveled over the pond to New York, offering visitors an inside look at the magical world created by J.K. Rowling. 

The exhibit, which opened its doors in October, combines the real-life history of folklore and magic that influenced the creation of Potter's world with over 100 artifacts on display. Visitors can view old treasures from collections of the British Library and the New York Historical Society alongside original material from Potter publisher Scholastic and Rowling’s own archives. Visitors can explore the exhibit’s different Hogwarts-themed classrooms, view drafts and sketches from Rowling and Potter illustrator Jim Kay, check out the infamous trunk that carried copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and see props from the films including the invisibility cloak famously worn by Potter himself. 

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, visitors can see cover artwork designed by illustrator Brian Selznick for the anniversary edition of the series. They can also view Mary GrandPré’s illustrations created for Scholastic’s original editions of the novels — on display to the public for the first time. Costumes and set models from the award-winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — which opened to New York audiences in April —  are also exhibited.

The museum not only features original items from Rowling’s archive but also items borrowed from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic at Boscastle such as a real broomstick from 20th century witch Olga Hunt, a serpentine wand and an exploded cauldron artifact. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a special audio tour featuring the voice of Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer — available to ticket holders as a free Audible download — providing in-depth descriptions of the objects on view. The installation even comes with its own companion book: Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will run through Jan. 27, 2019. Tickets can be purchased online here