Academy Museum gives Debbie Reynolds as costume conservator for her cause

Los Angeles – For decades, Debbie Reynolds begged Hollywood to help her showcase her patronage and huge collection of Golden Age costumes. Referring to giants like Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland, he said, “These pieces are cultural touchstones that still carry the energy of the stars who perform in them.” “There is magic in every thread, button and bow.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences turned him down – Five times. Reynolds once quoted an unassuming David Geffen in his 2013 memoir, “Why don’t you just sell that stuff?”

In debt, after all, he had no other choice, Marilyn Monroe ivory adorned halter dress Blowed upwards in “The Seven Year Itch” for $ 4.6 million and $ 3.7 million from Audrey Hepburn’s Les Royal Ascot number “My Fair Lady” – shocking Movidome’s elite and Reynolds proved right. In some cases sold to Anonymous foreign collectors, in some cases, were Charlton Heston’s “Ben-Hur” tunic and cape, acoustic guitar Julie Andrews called “The Sound of Music” and every cap that Vivian Leah had called “Gone with the Wind” “Sang in “

Hollywood didn’t give a damn.

Now, four years after that Died at 84, A plot twist has arrived in the Debbie Reynolds costume collection saga, one that she will undoubtedly find both crazy and satisfying: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, To open on April 30 and cost $ 482 million, helps himself to take care of his collection – at least the part that’s left, including iconic costumes, which he made in films like “Rain” Wore in the rain. In addition there are screen robes made for Mary Pickford, Deborah Kerr and Seed Charis, as well as rare memorabilia from classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Maltese Falcon”.

“There are still amazing pieces,” Bill cremerThe director of the museum called and said. Reynolds gave the items to his son, Todd Fisher, A major collector in itself, who has long focused on film cameras and lenses, or “cinema glasses”. Fisher also inherited the “Star Wars” memorabilia owned by his sister, Carrie Fisher, Who died a day before his mother in 2016.

“I came across Todd almost a year ago with the idea of ​​naming our museum’s conservation studio after his mother, which was important to our history, not just as an artist – acting, dancing, singing, his comedy – Rather as a collector and as well. Conservationist, “Kremer said.” It turned into a conversation about how we might be able to work with the collection to bring Todd and Debbie’s legacy – and Todd and Carrie – In the museum in a tangible way. “

So far, Fisher has agreed to lend the Academy Museum an item from his own collection: a set of seven Bosch and Lombar Balton lenses that were used Greg Tolland, “Citizen Kane” are cinematographers. Fisher, 62, said that as long as the DeBary Reynolds Conservation Studio exists on the lower level of the museum next to the Charley Temple Education Studio, more items will arrive.

“My mother was one of the most forgiving people ever,” Fisher said. “She would never want me to just keep a complaint, because I know all those missed opportunities – how in the past the people who ran the academy were never ready to support and support her.” She wanted me to share these important artifacts with future generations. Therefore, I agree to provide whatever I have until I recognize my mother properly for her contribution to this discipline.

Fisher said: “I’m still here, and I know where it is – where the main pieces ended. I’m still here, and I still have some. “

Academy, established in 1927 Started collecting films and material related to them in 1929. Its vast holdings include over 100,000 titles, including obscure documentaries and early American films; About 10 million photos; 80,000 screenplays; 50,000 posters; And tens of thousands of production and costume design drawings.

But actual wear was never ranked. Deborah Nadulman LandisDavid C. at the University of California, Los Angeles. The founding director of the Copley Center for Costume Design, stated that Oscar was not honored for art until 1949 and costume designers were not able to protect him. Own membership branch As of 2013 within the academy.

“I think it was institutional sexism,” Landis said. “Our region was treated as women’s work and treated with disrespect.” Landis has been a member of the Academy since 1988. His costume design credits include “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (you can thank him for Indy’s fedora and jacket) and “Coming to America,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Some costumes and props from Hollywood’s early decades have survived only because the electricians, makeup artists, and other behind-the-scenes crews took the items home (or they were removed from the trash cans) and were sent by family heirs. Passed as. In some examples, the studio cut old costumes to use as a floor cover. Reynolds started his collection in 1970, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer sold material Of seven soundstages; She emptied her bank accounts to purchase hundreds of items ranging from Elizabeth Taylor’s pink and yellow racing silks “National Velvet” and Leslie Caron’s plaid school dress “Gigi” to wool hats and straw hats.

“Debbie sat on my couch and started crying when she had to sell,” Landis said, recalling one of the three Reynolds auctions in 2011 and 2014. “The academy didn’t buy anything. It was a tragedy.”

Kramer noted that the Academy Museum was Recently Purchased “Lenin Venus” (1932), Jean Kelly’s sweater and “An American in Paris,” and a denim and flannel ensemble worn in Kathy Bates, including a denim and flannel ensemble in “Misery”, in private transaction costumes. an array. Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg and Terry Semel, former Warner Bros., joined in 2012 Buy a pair of ruby ​​slippers From “The Wizard of Oz” to the museum, which was then pointed to an opening in 2017. (Four pairs, size 5, are known to survive.)

And some items have recently been offered in full or in part to the museum, including the floor-length “Dracula” cape of Bela Lugosi. (Museum patrons have worked Restore it. The black wool exterior and the Toupe silk crepe linings have been different from the tor years, which is likely the result of changing moisture.) “It is important for us to be able to restore and protect this artifact, especially material history. A lot to know about. The classic horror cycle is lost forever, “Jessica Neibel, curator of demonstrations, said in a statement last year.

designed by Renzo Piano, The Academy Museum, which announced on Friday that it had reached its pre-opening fund-goal, is expected to attract more than 800,000 visitors a year. To do so, Kramer must appeal to two disgruntled audiences, offering scholarships for academy members (and students and film snobs) and sparking for the public. Appropriately accepted, the costumes can meet both requirements – as Landis demonstrated in 2012, when she organized an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in Hollywood Costume, London. (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art was initially approached and passed with the exhibition idea.)

New York Times called Hollywood Costume “Extraordinary” and “intelligent.” The exhibition, which eventually made its way to Los Angeles with Kramer’s help in 2014, turned into a blockbuster, one of the biggest draws in the 168-year history of V&A.

It included at least eight showstopping pieces from Reynolds’ original collection.

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