Travelers of all ages continue to flock to the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, where the community pays tribute to one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. From humble beginnings in Johnston County to starring in 59 films, Ava is known around the world as one of the most beautiful women ever to work in Hollywood. In 2016 the museum unveiled a new exhibit called Ava Living in London and highlights Ava’s life in London from the movies she filmed there to her time as a permanent resident starting in 1968 up to her death in 1990. The museum has displays that change annually so that visitors to the museum can see new items from the vast collection the museum curates of Ava’s clothes, costumes, photos, personal mementos, art, letters, and props.
The Ava Living in London exhibit is an avant-garde tableau which demonstrates digitally Ava’s prowess on the screen, but also portrays her at home and “out-and-about” in the city she loved so greatly! The museum has a great many items on loan just for this exhibit including a stunning evening gown from Harrod’s, personal make-up, and everyday items that carry the capricious charm with which Ava was recognized. Visitors to the Ava Gardner Museum will have the opportunity to view the Ava Living in London exhibit, included in the cost of admission, through 2017.
The Ava Gardner Museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9-5pm, and on Sunday 2pm-5pm. Visitors from around the world visit the museum each year, which is conveniently located just one mile off of I-95 at Exit 95. Admission is $8.00 for adults with discounts available for seniors, groups of 15 or more people, military, teens, and children 6-12 years old.
Exhibits are changed our once a year at the museum to keep visitors returning to the museum and to attract new patrons. To keep up with the museum, information may be found on the website, www.avagardner.org and through the BLOG posts.