Ray Harryhausen- Titan of Cinema, Edinburgh 2020

To celebrate the 99th birthday anniversary of Ray Harryhausen, the Foundation, together with the National Galleries of Scotland, are thrilled to reveal the very first glimpses of several recently restored models created by the legendary filmmaker who changed the face of modern cinema.

Taken from stop motion pioneer Harryhausen’s remarkable archive, and pictured with daughter and trustee Vanessa Harryhausen these include iconic original models of the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and from his Sinbad series of the 1950s and 70s, the Minaton from Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) and Medusa from Clash of the Titans (1981).

These ground-breaking monuments to cinematic history will go on display next year at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA) in Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema, the largest and widest-ranging exhibition of Harryhausen’s work ever seen. The models will join newly restored and previously unseen material from Harryhausen’s matchless collection and archive, from 23 May 2020.

Vanessa Harryhausen is currently writing a book to accompany next year’s landmark exhibition, to give her own perspective on her father’s ground-breaking career and collection. It will mark the first time Vanessa has spoken about her father’s work in such detail, and will include a personal biography of her father, from his beginnings in the 1930s, through to projects he was working on just less than a decade ago.

Vanessa Harryhausen said: “Our plans to celebrate Dad’s centenary at the National Galleries in Edinburgh are so exciting; if he was still around, he would be so enthused by all of our plans for 2020! It’s wonderful that we are able to display so much of Dad’s collection: the space at the Galleries gives us great scope to display as many of his models and artworks as possible, as well as personal items which have never been exhibited before, such as his equipment, tools and library.”

“We at the Foundation are thrilled by the enthusiasm that the Galleries’ team are showing about displaying Dad’s collection and celebrating his legacy. He established the Foundation in order to encourage future generations to enjoy stop-motion animation, and we hope that next year’s activities in Edinburgh will encourage fans of all ages to be inspired by his creativity”.

Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema is in collaboration with The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation (Charity No. SC001419) to celebrate what would have been his centenary 100th birthday year. As part of a series of events and initiatives under the banner #Harryhausen100, the exhibition will be accompanied by screenings, workshops and more, bringing his creations to life once more and celebrating the legacy of the filmmaker who shaped cinema as we know it today.

John Walsh, Filmmaker and Foundation Trustee said: “Today Ray Harryhausen and his films have become cultural milestones. His technical achievements and his groundbreaking techniques pushed the medium of modern special effects forward and in doing so created his own genre. Only Walt Disney could be compared with such a seismic shift within the film industry. Bringing new audiences to his work and working practices is at the centre of the Foundation’s mission and the exhibition next year. For those who think they know the work and legacy of this titan of special effects. think again”.

Connor Heaney, Collections Manager at The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, said: “In preparation for next year’s exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland, some of Ray’s most iconic models are being prepared for display. New restorations will allow for iconic creatures such as Talos and Kali to be exhibited for the first time in many years. Other treasures from the Harryhausen archive will be publicly displayed for the first time ever.

“Ray’s creatures are primarily constructed from latex rubber – a material which naturally degrades over time. During his lifetime, Ray employed conservator Alan Friswell to assist in saving his model collection; Alan is now working with the Foundation to preserve and repair Ray’s original models in time for 2020. Alongside these, Ray’s incredible artwork will be showcased alongside material from the rest of his diverse collection, giving a unique insight into one of the most important filmmakers of the 20th century”.

Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “It’s an amazing feeling to see brought back to life, and newly restored, some of the most famous mythical creatures from the history of cinema. We are thrilled to be working with Vanessa and The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation on putting together the largest and most spectacular exhibition to date celebrating the life and work of Ray Harryhausen, titan of cinema.”

For more information on next year’s exhibition, see

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/exhibition/ray-harryhausen-titan-cinema

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