"Seven Year Itch" dress ignites Reynolds' Auction...

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"Seven Year Itch" dress ignites Reynolds' Auction...

Post by GeorgeC » June 20th, 2011, 2:51 am

http://www.wenn.com/all-news/monroes-wh ... 6-million/

This past weekend, Debbie Reynolds in conjunction with auctioneers Profiles in History started selling off her Hollywood memorabilia.

Reynolds had hoped to open a museum to showcase her collection of costumes and props from the Golden Age of Hollywood but it was not to be... As recently revealed on an episode of the SyFy series "Hollywood Treasures," Reynolds recruited Profiles in History to assist her son in aiding the sell-off of this massive collection. Reynolds' collection spans at least 50 years of movie history and was acquired during 30-some years of her lifetime beginning with an MGM studio sell-off in the early 1970s.

Marilyn Monroe's infamous white dress (blown up by an air vent) from "The Seven Year Itch" was the centerpiece of the first official Reynolds' collection auction. (The Reynolds' collection is HUGE... There will be many other auction events to come.) Other dresses worn by Monroe in other films were also auctioned but this was by far the most iconic and highest-selling of the event. Pre-auction estimates placed the dress at $1million which it easily exceeded.

Also sold at auction were Judy Garland's Dorothy dress from the Wizard of Oz ($910,000), Elizabeth Taylor's National Velvet riding outfit, and the armor worn by Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc.

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Post by Ben » June 20th, 2011, 11:52 am

Really sad news this, that her collection is being split up. There's so much need for things like this to be left to a trust or, indeed as she wanted to set up, a movie museum. Reynolds is an unlikely savior of Hollywood trinkets and treasures, but good on her for doing what she has done. If only those with sense could be persuaded to loosen the purse strings and see the value in a real movie museum - a Movieum? - and the amount of interest that could bring to catalog movies and their availability on DVD, etc.

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Post by GeorgeC » June 20th, 2011, 2:33 pm

I don't see a movie museum happening any time soon, Ben.

It boils down to $$$$ again. That's ultimately what doomed the Reynolds' collection. She doesn't have the time and money to properly curate and take care of her collections so that's why it's being split up and sold (hopefully) to people who CAN take care of the pieces...

(The sad part of private collections is that they end up being that... There are very few high-end collectors who want their street address given out on the Net and fewer that actually display their toys let alone let their attachment to said-items be known. I can't say I blame them... There are people online looking for places to burglarize.)

There have been plenty of single-purposed pop culture museums that have come and gone over the years.

Mort Walker, the creator of Beetle Bailey, had a museum for 4 decades that (I think) switched between New England (New Hampshire? Maine?) and Florida. It was dedicated to comic art and in addition to comic strip art had a large collection of anciliary/animation-related artwork, too... including the storyboards to the very first Mickey Mouse animated short.

The cartoon museum just didn't make it and I believe the bulk of the collection ended up at Ohio State University where it is again mainly appreciated by fewer than a half-dozen people... (I've got stories I could tell about OSU and what is wrong with their attitude with regards to MANY things but that's not the point here...)

(EDIT UPDATE: More on Mort Walker's Cartoon Museum here and the fate of its collection => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Cartoon_Museum
I can tell you straight up that the collection ended up in one of the ugliest art buildings ever designed and built for a university in the US... About 10 people visit that building every year and many agree that it's an eyesore.)

The best that has happened with some props and costumes is that they've ended up scattered in museum collections from coast-to-coast in the US and sometimes abroad. Several of the Star Trek motion picture miniatures (including the 8-foot Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture) are in Paul Allen's science fiction museum in Seattle. Unfortunately, that collection is housed next to a rock'n roll museum that nobody goes to, either, and it may eventually end up that Allen won't want to fund or continue that financial sinkhole... Who knows where that stuff will eventually end up?

Another huge repository of models, props, and costumes is the Smithsonian Institution centered in Washington, DC. (Most of its warehouses are in Virginia and Maryland, though.) The bad news is that the Smithsonian staff has too much to keep track of and depending on management can be indifferent to aspects of its collection. (The science fiction memorabilia it stewards is a source of embarrassment to management...) Believe me, the Smithsonian's actions (and inactions!) have offended various groups over the years...

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