Episode 30–What Tolkien’s Visual Art Tells Us About His Creative Mind–John McQuillen and Holly Ordway


Feb 27, 2019

While Tolkien’s brilliance as a world-builder and storyteller is
well-established, fewer people are aware of just how unique (and
obsessive) his creative process was, or that he was a gifted visual
artist. That is changing thanks to an unprecedented exhibition of
Tolkien’s personal items, manuscripts and artworks, Tolkien:
Maker of Middle-Earth
, currently on display at the Morgan
Library in Manhattan.

John McQuillen, Assistant Curator at the Morgan Library, and
Holly Ordway, author of the upcoming study Tolkien’s Modern
, join me to discuss the exhibition, which sheds light
on Tolkien’s use of visual art to help him solidify his literary
vision, the role his stories and artworks played in his family
life, and (perhaps surprising to many who view Tolkien as a
conservative fuddy-duddy) his willingness to draw on an eclectic
range of sources, including distinctly modern ones, to enhance his
creative expression.



Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth at the Morgan (view
selected images from the exhibition) https://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/tolkien

The exhibition book, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth by
Catherine McIlwaine

Holly Ordway http://www.hollyordway.com/

Sheen Center for Thought & Culture https://www.sheencenter.org/

Past Tolkien-related episodes

Episode 15: Online Education with The Tolkien Professor—Corey
Olsen https://www.catholicculture.org/podcast/index.cfm?id=15

Episode 16: Extremely Specific Middle-earth Q&A with The
Tolkien Professor—Corey Olsen https://www.catholicculture.org/podcast/index.cfm?id=16

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