Brain Pickings

Alice in Wonderland, in 24 Vintage Magic Lantern Slides


“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

As a lover of all things Alice in Wonderland, I was so taken with these glass lantern slides originally found in 100 Ideas That Changed Film that I thought they deserved individual attention. Created as a set of 24 slides based on Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations for the Lewis Carroll classic but altered to avoid copyright conflicts, these gems were meant for viewing on a magic lantern, or Laterna Magica — a primitive projector dating back to the 17th century, consisting of a concave mirror in front of a light source. Though the exact year is unknown, the slides were created sometime between 1910 and 1925.

For a modern contrast, see Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s psychedelic recent illustrated adaptation of Alice.

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