Several stars of “The Walking Dead” stopped by the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria on Saturday, Oct. 8, to check out a massive exhibit dedicated to the long-running show currently in its final season. AMC and MoMI’s “Living with the Walking Dead” exhibition is dedicated to the origins, production, fandom and impact of one of the most-watched shows in the history of cable television.
“More than just a television show, it is a cultural phenomenon that is adored by legions of fans, who celebrate the innovative, engaging and immersive world that its makers have built, and its diverse cast of characters,” MoMI Executive Director Carl Goodman said. “The exhibition bleeds outward from our temporary exhibitions gallery and into our theaters, classrooms and other public spaces.”
Among the visitors were Paola “Princess” Lazaro, Eleanor “Yumiko” Matsuura, Lauren “Connie” Ridloff and Michael James Shaw, who portrays the intimidating Michael Mercer. The exhibition includes production material, original costumes and props, concept art and storyboards, and a wealth of prosthetic makeup used to transform extras into the undead walkers on the show, which aired over 11 seasons comprising 177 episodes before this final season.
“We’re delighted to work with MoMI on [the] exhibition and lineup of events to commemorate this beloved series’ historic run, the immensely talented creative team and crew who brought it to life, and give this incredible fanbase a new and exciting way to experience their favorite show,” said AMC Studios President of Entertainment Dan McDermott.
Living with the Walking Dead opened in June and was originally scheduled to close on New Year’s Day, but has been extended through Jan. 22.
“We’ve seen a number of big fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ come out,” said exhibition curator Barbara Miller. “One memorable visitor was a blogger for a Walking Dead fan site called ‘The Squawking Dead.’ In the gallery, he was FaceTiming with an actor who appeared in ‘The Walking Dead,’ showing her the prosthetic makeup that her character wore on the show.”
Sunday’s episode featured a brief montage of memorable moments from the show’s blockbuster years that had fans waxing nostalgic.
“Fans are such a big part of ‘The Walking Dead’ that the exhibition has a section dedicated to the fandom,” Miller said. “But, in addition to the fans who have seen every episode, it’s gratifying to see those who have never seen the series visit and appreciate the craft that goes into the makeup, sets, props, production design and storytelling.”
The exhibition explores the cinematic and literary antecedents of the series, including Robert Kirkman’s comic books, and the unique innovations it has contributed to onscreen depictions of the zombie apocalypse, with its wide-ranging story of survival and diverse cast of characters.
“We certainly hope that fans of the show will want to savor these final episodes by rewatching their favorites and visiting the exhibition, and see the objects touched or worn by the characters and those that hold a lot of meaning in the arc of the story — Rick’s sheriff’s deputy hat, Daryl’s vest and motorcycle, Moran’s staff, Carol’s bow and arrow,” Miller said. “I think it’s a good moment for reflecting on the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ and to consider its lasting impact.”
For more information, visit MoMI’s website here.