Harry Potter exhibition open . Come and see how the new illustrated Harry Potter book was created

Posted: 17.04.17

The new stunning exhibition called "Illustrating Harry Potter" runing till June 18th has already broken every Bailiffgate attendance record. It showcases original illustrations, sketches and models from the new edition of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and

Four minutes after opening the exhibition on Saturday 18th March, Bailiffgate welcomed Marlene our first visitor, who was from Germany, and a major Harry Potter fan:



Marlene was quickly followed by 2 women from Glasgow who loved the creativity on display. Shortly after welcomed our 3 Durham University visitors who gamely dressed up and played every game in the gallery, and had a great time:


Overall the museum has never had so many visitors ever, and from all across the age spectrum. They just kept coming.

Sunday was a bit quieter, but still as many people visited us in one day as usually come in a week! What a weekend!

We can look forward to a tremendous school holidays although it is obvious Harry Potter has fans of all ages. Non-Harry Potter fans, dragged along by partners  and friends, still enjoyed themselves because no one can fail to be impressed by Jim Kay’s artwork. Visitors seemed to enjoy exploring the detail of his work with torches and magnifying sheet provided. It all looks wonderful. Of course, there is still the rest of the museum to see!




The spellbinding exhibition has been put together by Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle, and Bloomsbury Children’s Books, and includes a unique short film about the work of Jim Kay (shown below with one of his studio staff).



Jim Kay was personally selected by J.K.Rowling to bring her Harry Potter’s world alive with his dazzling illustrations. Over the next few years, Jim will be reimagining all seven books, with the first now available in a beautiful hardback edition.

“Seeing Jim Kay’s illustrations moved me profoundly. I love his interpretation of Harry Potter’s world, and I feel honoured and grateful that he has lent his talent to it.”

J.K. Rowling





Visitors are able to pore over intricate sketches and stunning pencil drawings and discover Jim’s complex, creative process from inspiration to final illustration. Best of all, fans will be able to come face-to-face with breath-taking portraits of their favourite characters from Hogwarts.


                              A model shown in the film about Jim Kay and his Harry Potter creations


This enchanting world of Harry Potter includes:

• Jim’s model of the Hogwarts Express

• Impressive concept artwork of iconic scenes and characters

• A short film revealing how he approached illustrating J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

• Final oil on board artwork of Professors McGonagall and Dumbledore.  Plus:

Fun activities for all the family with plenty of costumes to make your trip extra special!






Jim Kay is the 2012 Kate Greenaway Medal winning illustrator of "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness, a book whose impressive illustrative style is atmospheric and haunting.


Jim loves to work with print but turned to watercolour and pencil for his more recent work. His beautiful new illustrated edition of the nation’s favourite children’s book is brimming with rich detail and humour that perfectly complements J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic, captivating fans and new readers alike.






Remember that Friends of the Museum can see this and

all our exhibition programme for free.