Louisville, Ky., – The Frazier History Museum will bring one of Hollywood’s most iconic and memorable sweethearts to life as it presents “Love, Shirley Temple,” an exhibit featuring nearly 200 items from the legendary actress’s personal collection of movie costumes, dolls and memorabilia, for a very limited engagement from July 3rd to 8th, 2015. Theriault’s, the world’s auction leader for important childhood objects, is sponsoring the event as part of a series of seven opportunities to see the collection in selected cities from New York to California that began in late April and will culminate in Louisville at the Frazier.
“Love, Shirley Temple” spans the rise of “America’s Little Darling” to stardom in 1930, the Depression years, and the end of her childhood in 1941. From 1935 through 1938, Shirley Temple was indisputably the box office champion – a feat that has never been matched. While Shirley Temple sang and smiled her way into hearts, her mother, Gertrude Temple, was busy preserving the memorabilia that attended her daughter’s more than 40 films produced in one decade.
The collection includes: her extraordinary autograph books, and a myriad of Shirley’s own cherished dolls, playthings and signed letters and photos from such luminaries as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Irving Berlin, Noel Coward, Marlene Deitrich and Orson Welles. In addition, Shirley Temple’s most recognizable movie costumes will be viewed for the first time including the iconic red polka dot dress from her breakout film “Stand Up and Cheer” and the complete Scottish-kilt outfit from director John Ford’s classic “Wee Willie Winkie.”
The collection also includes a child-sized racing car given to Shirley by her close friend Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, who co-starred with her in the classic movie, The Little Colonel, which has an interesting local connection. Annie Fellows Johnston, famed turn of the century author of the children’s book series that inspired the movie, is from the area. For The Little Colonel Series, Johnston fictionalized Pewee Valley, Kentucky, as Lloydsborough Valley. In 1935, Twentieth Century Fox released the film The Little Colonel, with Shirley Temple playing the part of the Little Colonel.
“We are so pleased to bring this delightful exhibit to the Frazier’s members, fans and friends,” said Frazier’s Interim Director Paula Hale. “This unique experience to learn more about one of our country’s brightest stars is truly representative of the Frazier’s mission to bring history to life and celebrate our local and regional history through a national lens.”
Said Stuart Holbrook, President of Theriault’s, “As the leader in the preservation and auction of historic childhood objects, we are pleased to be offering such a personal collection from easily the most iconic youth of the 20th century. As well, to be able to sponsor and share many of the pieces at prominent museums nationwide prior to the auction event is truly a privilege and an honor.”
“Love, Shirley Temple” has already appeared at The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, and The Wenham Museum north of Boston. Additional locations on the schedule are May 21st to 24th at The Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, near Manhattan; June 4th to 10th at the Santa Monica History Museum in California; June 12th-14th at the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto in northern California; and June 20th-27th at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center in Fort Worth, Texas. A July 14th auction in Kansas City, MO is expected to entertain worldwide participation.
As part of its ongoing 10th Anniversary Exhibition Schedule, the Frazier recently opened the Lewis & Clark Experience. The family-friendly exhibit is designed to take visitors of all ages on an immersive and educational adventure that portrays some of the many challenges encountered by the Corps of Discovery, which began on the Ohio River in 1803. The Lewis & Clark Experience is scheduled through March 2016.