I promised The Boy a visit to the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC (of all places!) for Christmas. Now that I live in the Triangle and only about 25 minutes away, we finally got to go. Turns out that she was born just outside of Smithfield and is buried there as well. Since I have always been a huge follower of the glamour and glitz of the Golden Era of Hollywood, I was pretty excited. The museum was small but fascinating. It was a great day.
One of her many costumes form one of her many movies.
I like this photo because of the reflection that appears on her bodice. This chick had an 18 inch waist!! I'm not even sure if that is humanly possible!!!
The only role she ever earned an Academy Award for. And she got to star with Gable, her childhood movie crush!
Isn't she beautiful?!
I hadn't realized that Ava and Frank were married. In fact, both claimed (in life, of course) that they were each other's "one great love." It took many years for their separation to become an actual divorce, and, even after their divorce, they remained close friends.
Another gown with an impossibly small waist.
This photograph is the one that started it all. She had just arrived to NY to live with her sister and brother-in-law. A local photographer snapped this photo and displayed it in his shop window. A MGM exec passed by and instantly knew she was star-material. A few months later, she was on her way to Hollywood to become the icon that she is today.
A sleeping gown. I wish all of my "sleeping gowns" were made of lace and silk.
Some of her famous bathing-suit shots.
Her embellished cape from The Barefoot Contessa. She had over 40 pairs of shoes for the role. Just another reason for me to adore her!
If you ever get the chance, you should visit the museum. It is small and in a nothing little town, but the display and exhibit is interesting. Of course, I wouldn't plan an entire trip around the museum (it is Smithfield, after all. A place known for hog farming), but if you are in the Raleigh area, it is worth a stop over!