Guest Post: Heyden Russell on MinaLima Film Props Exhibit ‘From Weasley’s Shop to Soho: The Artwork of Harry Potter’

From Weasley’s Shop to Soho: The Artwork of Harry Potter

The job of the propmaster for most films is a very arduous task. In a fantasy film like the eight Harry Potter movies, however, the difficulty is increased tenfold. Rather than having to dress the sets and come up with props that match a specific place or a period in history, the visual design teams are assigned the task of creating an entire world and making film audiences believe that people actually live there. The results, in the case of the Harry Potter films, were some truly gorgeous props that really brought the wizarding world to life. Now several of those props have been deemed real works of art, and they’re on display at The Coningsby Gallery in London.

The team that assembled much of the artwork that fans loved from the Harry Potter films was led by artists Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima. The graphics team, who go by the name MinaLima, met when they were working together on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second film in the saga. After the two united, they then went on to create all the props for the final six films.

Among the props that the two designers put together were the wizarding newspapers, The Daily Prophet and The Quibbler. The cover pages of these publications featured signature styles that eventually became recognizable to anyone who had seen the movies, and they often featured headlines and other text that fit seamlessly into the magical world upon closer inspection despite never being visible on camera long enough for anyone to actually read them. The duo also created all of the propaganda affiliated with the Ministry of Magic and its number one mouthpiece, Dolores Umbridge. Examples of their work include Umbridge’s “Educational Decree Proclamations” when she is the headmistress in the fifth film as well as her “Undesirable No. 1” posters in the seventh movie.

The most famous piece of artwork created by MinaLima, however, was also the one that made them most excited to put the Harry Potter props on display. The Marauder’s Map, which shows the locations of every student and professor at Hogwarts marked with a dot, is comprised of intricate pieces that fold together such that they create a representation of the school. Mina and Lima said they were always asked by fans what had happened to the map after filming concluded, so they wanted to bring it and all the other pieces together in a gallery showing that could be appreciated by the movies’ most diehard supporters.

The exhibition of Mina and Lima’s work, entitled “The Graphic Art of the Harry Potter Films” is just the latest of several behind-the-scenes opportunities afforded to fans of the Harry Potter franchise. Harry Potter: The Exhibition is a collection of props and costumes from the films that has been travelling around the world since 2009, has made stops all over the U.K. and the United States. Additionally, the Leavesden Studios outside London, where the bulk of filming for the Harry Potter movies was done, has also recently been converted into a studio tour where guests can walk through some of the iconic sets from the films. If you are a diehard Harry Potter fan, delving deeper into the moviemaking magic through one of these experiences will certainly increase your appreciation for all the work that went into making the films.

Hayden Russell is a serious Harry Potter fanatic. He enjoys writing about the latest Harry Potter news to share with others on the Internet. To read more on Harry Potter, go to this page.


  1. phoenixsong58 says

    I saw Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Chicago in 2011 and enjoyed it immensely. I hope I can one day see the Leavesden Studios in London.
    I looked up Mina and Lima’s work on the Printorium, and I only wish they had more affordable versions of the posters!
    Thanks for the info.

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