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University Libraries - News, Events & Exhibits

Heroicons: Fantasy Images of Beowulf and the Monsters

Thomas Cooper Library West Gallery
Nov 1, 2007 - Dec 31, 2007
Curated by Dr. Scott Gwara in USC’s English department, this exhibit explores depictions of Beowulf, Grendel, Grendel’s mother and the dragon in works dating from 1884. The exhibit coincides with the release on November 16th of Robert Zemeckis’s Hollywood blockbuster film Beowulf. The exhibition explores the faithfulness of Beowulf illustrations and notes the mid-twentieth century change from representational to impressionistic images. Several major artists were commissioned to illustrate editions of Beowulf, including Rockwell Kent and Leonard Baskin. A variety of genres are on display: fine press books, children’s books, academic translations and comic books. “The comics are very creative,” Gwara observed. “ The monsters of Beowulf already give it a touch of comic-book unreality, so the adaptation to the comic genre seems natural.” The exhibition also includes ephemera such as games, coloring books, cards and posters.