The Ava Gardner Museum in downtown Smithfield has unveiled “Ava Living in London,” its newest exhibit
“The ‘Ava Living in London’ exhibit is the grand finale of nearly three years of work to have Ava honored in London,” said Deanna Brandenberger, director of the Ava Gardner Museum.
The exhibit also serves “to make connections in international communities and to portray a side to her that people have rarely seen because it was the most private time in her life,” Brandenberger added.
The exhibit portrays Gardner in her London apartment and out and about in the city she called home from 1968 until her death in 1990. The museum has many items on loan for the exhibit, including an evening gown from Harrod’s, personal make-up and everyday items. The exhibit runs through 2017.
About 100 people attended the unveiling. Among them were Gardner’s niece, Mary Edna Grantham, and the actress’ great-niece, Ava Carol Thompson.
Brandenberger was excited about the attendance. “The premiere exhibit had a wonderful turnout by our community,” she said. “It was great to see people from different organizations, fans, partners in the business community and the people who work every day to bring Ava to life with their love and hard work so that our visitors may continue to enjoy her for generations to come.”
During the ceremony, Brandenberger presented a framed photo of Gardner to Rick Lotz, chairman of the museum’s board of directors. The photo was a gift to the Gardner estate from Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences in London.
The event included an English tea served by Grapes & Grounds, a Smithfield coffee shop.
The Ava Gardner Museum is at 325 E. Market St. in downtown Smithfield. To learn, go to avagardner.org. Also, follow the museum on Facebook and Twitter.