Museum Hours   |   Monday-Saturday: 9am – 5pm   |  Sunday: 2 pm – 5 pm


  • Museum Collections

    The Ava Gardner Museum is home to an extensive collection of Ava Gardner memorabilia. Each object in the museum was either...
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  • Ava's Story

    Ava Lavinia Gardner was born on Christmas Eve, 1922, in Grabtown, a rural community seven miles east of Smithfield, NC.
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  • Featured Item

    Grabtown Girl book
    Doris Rollins Cannon
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  • Filmography

    A comprehensive list of all the movies that resulted in Ava Gardner’s rise to an international film legend.
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Ava Gardner Museum Fire Suppression Campaign.

Museums face many challenges, from humidity to pests, but perhaps the most worrisome is the threat of fire to an irreplaceable collection. The Ava Gardner Museum located in Smithfield, North Carolina is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization that has been operated in Ava's hometown since the 1980s, is housed in a 100-year-old building, and boasts more than 150,000 artifacts in its permanent collection belonging to the Golden Age of Hollywood actress. However, owing to the age of the historic building, constant upgrades are necessary to ensure the safety and preservation of the collection, as well as those of visiting collections.


More than 15 years after our most recent remodel, we are seeking an upgrade to our fire suppression system which will assist in guarding the collection for fans of Ava and Hollywood in the event of a catastrophe.  This project is estimated to cost $100,000.  We are asking Ava's fans and fellow history buffs to help us preserve a unique piece of cinematic history and an iconic treasure of Hollywood as well as North Carolina. The official page of the Ava Gardner Museum and Estate can be accessed at:

The Ava Gardner Museum, one of North Carolina’s most remarkable attractions, honors the life, loves, and legacy of one of Hollywood’s most glamorous leading ladies.

Ava's ClosetCome to downtown Smithfield and discover the real Ava Gardner as you take the self-guided tour through more than 5,000 square-feet of exhibit space. You’ll see extraordinary costumes, movie posters and awards that represent Ava’s 50-year career as a leading Hollywood actress.

The new "Ava's Closet" exhibit is now open to the public and features never-before-seen personal clothing worn by Ava. Special exhibit panels honor the Fontana Sisters, Ava's friends and favorite designers as well as, Christian Dior, designer for The Little Hut. Along with more than sixteen clothing items, cases include a great variety of Ava's accessories, jewelry, gloves, shoes and pocketbooks.

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