One of the best things about writer and director Guillermo Del Toro—and one of the things that makes it easiest to forgive his various unfulfilled promises and cinematic oversells over the years—is his obvious enthusiasm for the genre material he’s spent his life telling stories about. The Pacific Rim director clearly loves myths and monster, with an intensity that belies the skill with which he depicts them on the screen. And nowhere is that mixture of technical scholarship and pack rat giddiness more clear than in his Los Angeles-based second home, sometimes referred to as “Bleak House.”
Described and photographed extensively in a 2015 New York Times article, Del Toro’s wonderfully cluttered mansion—which he uses primarily as a writing office, allowing the abundance of macabre images to fuel his creativity—is filled with more than 700 pieces of art from the director’s favorite horror novels and movies. Besides wax sculptures of Boris Karloff, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allen Poe, there are also numerous props from his own films, including a massive clockwork egg from Hellboy II, which he acquired from the movie’s production company in a deal where he rented some of his own props to the film. (There’s also an abundance of skulls, offering up one of the few times in history when answering “I’m not sure” to the question “How many skulls are in your home?”might provoke endearment, instead of horror.)
And now, Del Toro is making his Bleak House collection available to the public. The Los Angeles County Museum Of Art has announced a new exhibit of the director’s “monster stuff,” which will display 500 pieces from his house of horrors and hoarding. A portion (approximately 60 objects) will come from the museum’s collection. Even better, the exhibit is also expected to tour, meaning that fans in Minneapolis and Toronto might also get a chance to see Del Toro’s collection in the spine-tingling flesh. The exhibition will be at LACMA July 31–November 27, 2016.