While it’s only been two years since Downton Abbey ended its six season run, fandom -- and nostalgia -- for the series has hit a peak thanks to the many cast members back onscreen in various hit films and TV series as well as the new exhibition, which recently opened in New York City.
Taking over a three-story space near Carnegie Hall, the immersive experience takes fans inside the upstairs and downstairs worlds of Julian Fellowes’ hit TV series. Among the recreated sets are Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen, Lady Mary’s bedroom and the ornate Crawley dining room.
“It really shows the fans exactly what the environment we were shooting in, from the dining room to Mary's bedroom,” says Michelle Dockery, who famously played the eldest Crawley daughter. “Everything is there.”
Filling out the rest of the space are over 50 official costumes, from Mary and Edith’s two wedding dresses to the show's most iconic outfits, as well as artifacts from the set, including the servants’ bell board and telegrams to Lord Grantham about the sinking of the Titanic.
“I think for fans out there, for them it will be incredibly nostalgic to walk into the rooms and see all the work that went into the show,” Dockery says of the exhibition, which has been extended to Sept. 3.
Following the New York run, it’s expected to make a select tour around the country. Details about “Downton Abbey: The Exhibition” can be found online.
Among Michelle Dockery's favorite displays are all the wedding dresses, "because, of course, [Mary] and Edith have two each."
A recreation of the Crawley dining room.
Servants' Dinning Hall
Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) and Allen Leech (Tom Branson) pose in front of the bell board from the servants' dining room during a preview of the exhibition.
Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) and Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) pose in Lady Mary's room during a preview of the exhibition.
Visiting the recreation of the set was particularly special for Dockery. "It was really emotional going back into her room. It's exactly the same. It's like nothing's moved," she says. "I've spent many scenes sat in front in that mirror at the dressing table. And every single prop is there. The hairbrush that Anna used in scenes, the little hair clips in the glass pot, when Anna was doing Mary's hair."
"So much happens in that space, from arguments with the sisters to the unspeakable incident with the Turkish diplomat," Michelle Dockery recalls of this particular set.
Sophie McShera (Daisy) and Lesley Nicol (Beryl Patmore) pose with their costumes in a preview of the exhibition.
The exhibition features many of the original costumes from various characters on the show.
Of course, the Downton Abbey exhibition is comes complete with a dedicated space to Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham played by Maggie Smith.