Ava Carol Doll Collection
In 2013, Ava's great niece, Ava Carol loaned the museum a collection of dolls given to her by Ava. While traveling the world on location, Ava would often remember her nieces and nephews with gifts such as dolls from various countries. The museum is honored to have these dolls on loan and they are showcased in the Tom Banks Library towards the rear of the building.
On display in the china cabinet was a hand-written note to Ava Carol from Ava what came with a doll.
Tribute to Annette Warren
In 2013, the museum was contacted by representatives of Annette Warren, the voice that replaced Ava's on Show Boat. For a limited time, the museum expanded the "Ava Sings" exhibit with a tribute to Annette Warren, who currently resides in California. As the story goes, Ava never quite forgave MGM for replacing her at the last minute on the movie, however, fans can hear her voice on the movie soundtrack record.
At the family auction held in Winston-Salem in 2005, the Museum acquired the original movie tracks of Ava singing for Show Boat.
New to the Ava Gardner Collection are several costume drawings of Irene Lentz, (December 8, 1900 – November 15, 1962) costume designer for MGM during the 1940s and 50s. Lentz was head designer of record for The Great Sinner, although her assistant Virginia Fisher was heavily involved in finishing up the project.
Her work as a clothing designer in Los Angeles led to her career as a costume designer for films in the 1930s. Lentz also worked under the name Irene Gibbons. In 2005, Irene Lentz was inducted into the Costume Designers Guild’s Anne Cole Hall of Fame.
Several of the sketches on display were done by artist Virginia Fisher, who worked for Irene. Drawings courtesy of Frank Billecci.
Photos from Past Exhibits below for visitors to enjoy, costumes which were loaned to the museum by Debbie Reynolds: