Star Wars and the Power of Costume

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Star Wars. I remember seeing the first movie in the theater, and I have seen all the original movies and the latest ones, too. I remember being very, very scared of Stormtroopers (or the White Guys, as I called them). But when I started hanging out with Greg, Star Wars became much more a part of my life. He was a total Star Wars kid. He had/has all the toys. He has watched all the movies many times (including the prequels). He inserts a Star Wars quote into normal conversation at least once a week.

So when the Star Wars the Power of Costume exhibit came to the Cincinnati Museum Center, there was no doubt we would go. And because Greg’s parents were very much a part of his Star Wars history, the four of us went together.

It was pretty great. The exhibit included actual costumes that were used in the filming of the seven episodes: the original three, the three prequels, and 2015’s The Force Awakens. Many of the costumes were in open displays so you could get a close look at them without glass in the way. And it included just about everything a fan like me would want to see.

It was so exciting to turn a corner and see old friends.

And new friends, too.

It was fun to see the Princess Leia costumes and have a better sense of just how tiny Carrie Fisher was.

Even though I never saw the prequels, I always enjoy looking at pretty dresses, so I spent a good bit of time admiring all the Queen Amidala costumes they had on display.

I love the buttons on the sleeves of this one.

I saw this one from the back first and admired the single line of stitching. Then I saw it from the front. Beautiful.

Her wedding dress was made from an old Italian bedspread. The costume designer spent the whole night before filming adding pearls to the dress to make it extra special.

This wonderful dress was worn by one of the handmaidens. The fabric accordions so it clings to the body and then expands down at the floor.

The exhibit included many of the bad guys, too, of course, including the scariest in my mind: Stormtroopers and Sand People.

The exhibit made nice use of platforms. In this example, they show how Emperor Palpatine went from good guy to bad guy.

My favorite part of the exhibit was the concept art that was sprinkled throughout. Amazing stuff.

Like this original art by John Mollo for the Cantina scene.

And the evolution of a Wookiee images.

The exhibit was light on creatures. I guess foam rubber doesn’t hold up well over time. But Chewie was there, an Ewok, and of course, Yoda.

At the end was a bonus exhibit of Star Wars toys! Kenner, the company that made all the figures and play sets, was based in Cincinnati, so this exhibit included a history of the company and lot of toys, many of which we have in our basement.

I was pretty sure I needed a photo of Greg and his parents at this point.

The exhibit is at the Museum Center until October 1, 2107, and I highly recommend it. There are interactive elements throughout to keep the kids engaged. And if you’re as lucky as we were, you might get to see the look of awe on an eight-year-old boy’s face as he stares up at a towering Darth Vader. Pretty cool stuff.


The Art of the Brick

I love the traveling exhibits that come through the Cincinnati Museum Center. Thanks to them I’ve seen real mummies, ruins from Pompei, memorabilia from Princess Diana (twice), and artifacts from the Titanic. And having gone to the latest exhibit, The Art of the Brick, I’ve seen a ton of really cool Lego art.

All the pieces in the exhibit were created by Nathan Sawaya. The pieces at the beginning were re-creations of artwork done in other mediums. While some were completely flat, others had a bit of dimension to them.



Many of the pieces used typical Lego shapes and colors, but this mask included some specially made tan people around the outer edge.


The exhibit included re-creations of larger, three-dimensional pieces of art, too. I love how he interpreted the necklace on the piece below.



Some of the pieces were really, really big. The Easter Island head was as tall as a person. And it was created with layer after layer of Lego bricks.



The exhibit also included some of the artist’s own sculptural pieces.


I liked how you could see all sides of the bricks in the piece below.




At the very end, the artist pulled an element for another artist’s photography and re-created it in Lego bricks. This was my favorite piece of that group. Who would have thought you could make a Lego towel?