Del Toro’s Bleak House comes to LACMA with ‘Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters’

guillermo_del_toro_bleak_house-1Guillermo del Toro’s Bleak House. Photo © Josh White/

For those of you unaware of what Guillermo del Toro’s “Bleak House” is, it’s his personal “man cave” that he built to be his own reference library and private museum – a perfect place for him to get inspired. He was partially inspired to create his “bleak house” from Walt Disney’s animation research library, a vast resource library where animators go to be surrounded by inspiring images. Del Toro carefully curated his house to contain several thematic “libraries” which includes paintings, drawings, maquettes, artifacts, books, and concept film art.

“I started collecting when I was a child. I have every single thing that I bought. I’m a monster guy. I love fantasy; I love reading. I have two houses for me and one house for my family. I live in the family home and I work in my two houses,” del Toro told the HFPA. “The two houses are organized in libraries. There’s a library for horror, a library for history, a library for art. I have about roughly eight to nine thousand books. I have roughly about fifty thousand magazine and comics. I have about five hundred and eighty original pieces of art; acrylics, oils… I have secret passages behind bookshelves. I have a room where it rains all day. At 51, I live the life of a well-financed twelve-year-old.”

guillermo_del_toro_bleak_house-4Guillermo del Toro’s Bleak House. Photo © Josh White/

Fans will finally be able to take a look at del Toro’s extraordinary collection for themselves as Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters opens tomorrow and will run until November 27th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Afterward, the exhibit will travel to Minneapolis Museum of Art (MIA) on February 26 – May 21, 2017 and then arrive at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on September 30, 2017 – January 7, 2018.

“To find beauty in the profane. To elevate the banal. To be moved by genre. These things are vital for my storytelling,” said del Toro. “This exhibition presents a small fraction of the things that have moved me, inspired me, and consoled me as I transit through life. It’s a devotional sampling of the enormous love that is required to create, maintain, and love monsters in our lives.”

Del Toro has lent the exhibit more than 400 artifacts from his “Bleak House” along with 60 objects from LACMA’s permanent collection. However, rather than chronicling the del Toro’s career, At Home with Monsters is organized into eight different thematic sections:

  • Childhood and Innocence explore the central role that children plays in his films.
  • Victorana showcases the Romantic, Victorian, and Edwardian visual and narrative references that inspire del Toro.
  • Del Toro’s Rain Room recreates Bleak House’s “rain room” which is del Toro’s favorite spot in Bleak House. In this room, he installed a false window and added special effects to simulate a thunderstorm at all times.
  • Magic, Alchemy, and the Occult examine del Toro’s fascination with magic, witchcraft, and the occult.
  • Movies, Comics, Pop Culture delves into del Toro’s obsession with movies and comics.
  • Frankenstein and Horror explore del Toro’s love and fascination for Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.
  • Freaks and Monsters showcase del Toro’s fascination with the “beautiful and heroic” nature of freaks and monsters.
  • Death and the Afterlife give viewers a look into del Toro’s interest with death through his various experiences of growing up in Mexico.
guillermo_del_toro_bleak_house-3Guillermo del Toro’s Bleak House. Photo © Josh White/

The exhibit itself features plenty of items from del Toro’s filmography including concept art, rough sketches, costumes, and props. Other items to be found are realistic life-size wax sculptures of del Toro’s biggest influences including H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Harryhausen, and more. Be sure to check out some images from the gallery below!

Installation photographs, Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 1–November 27, 2016
photo © Joshua White /

If you’re in the LA area, you can check out the exhibit by buying tickets here.

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters opens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art tomorrow.

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