The first pictures from the forthcoming Terry Pratchett exhibition at the Salisbury Museum have been revealed.
Amongst many of the previously unseen artefacts from "Terry Pratchett: His World" are images showing the author opening the East Knoyle post office 2006, at a duck race in 2013, as well as a group portrait of more than 70 characters from the Discworld series. It offers a “privileged insight into the man who created some of literature’s most enduringly popular fantasy worlds and characters”.
The exhibition, developed by the museum in Wiltshire with Pratchett’s estate and artist of choice, Paul Kidby, will run from 16th September 2017 to 13th January 2018. It will include various “treasured possessions” such as the sword specially crafted for his knighthood in 2009 and his Blue Peter badge.
Terry Pratchett at the Broad Chalke duck race in 2013. Photo: © Salisbury Journal
The exhibition will feature artwork by Pratchett himself as well as more than 40 original paintings and drawings by Kidby. The artist has designed the Discworld book jackets since 2002 and has illustrated many Discworld publications including the 2001 novella The Last Hero and The Art of Discworld, both published by Gollancz.
Kidby said: “It has been really exciting selecting some of my favourite Discworld paintings for the "Terry Pratchett: HisWorld" exhibition. Many of the artworks are from Terry’s own personal collection and have not been previously exhibited. It is therefore a real honour to be able to show them together for the first time in the galleries of the museum in Salisbury, my home city."
He added: "Visitors will be able to see many of their favourite Discworld illustrations up close and personal and celebrate the wonderful legacy of a great author who has inspired so many, including me."
Discworld Massif - a group portrait of over 70 favourite characters from Discworld. © 2014 Paul Kidby
Rob Wilkins, manager of Pratchett’s estate said the "outpouring of affection" for Pratchett during his life and after his death highlighted the importance of the exhibition. "Terry left behind so many words, into which this exhibition will provide a tantalizing window into their creator and the private space in which they were created,” he added.
Wilkins, who was Pratchett's assistant and business manager, believes the writer would have approved of the exhibition. He said: “Terry relished the opportunity to connect with his readers and we have no doubt that this opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves wholly in his life and work, and to be able view some of his treasured possessions, from his Knightly sword to his Blue Peter badge, would have both delighted and amused him."
When the exhibition was announced in February, its curator, Richard Henry revealed that fans had been booking flights “from across the world” to visit it.
Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. © 2002 Paul Kidby
Henry told The Bookseller at the time: “The reaction has been incredible and we’ve seen on Twitter how people have been booking flights from America and all over the world to come to see it. Some seem to be basing their holidays around it.”
He said the show had been inspired by the discovery of Pratchett's sword: "We started working with the two men who helped him to make his sword: Jake Keen, an experimental iron-melter and master blacksmith Hector Cole. There were a number of archaeological discoveries – we managed to trace the meteorite in Terry’s sword - and then we spoke to his family, and a few weeks later it had grown into an exhibition about Sir Terry Pratchett. "
Pratchett died in 2015 after being diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, in 2007.
There is a concurrent exhibition, "The Charmed Realm" by Kidby, running in the museum’s print room from 2nd September until 6th January.
For more information, visit salisburymuseum.org.uk.