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Ava Gardner Graces the Cover of Our State Magazine

(Smithfield, NC) - Ava Gardner, a native of Johnston County would appear on hundreds of magazine covers during her career as one of Hollywood's elite. Ava also has the distinction of being the first and only North Carolina woman to be featured on both Time and Newsweek Magazines covers. Now, Ava is being honored as Our State Magazine has chosen a portrait by Dutch artist Bert Pffeifer, which is owned by the Ava Gardner Museum, as the cover of their March 2014 issue.

Our State Magazine is North Carolina's premiere travel and life-style magazine in the state and has frequently featured Johnston County attractions, festivals, and businesses; most recently the Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival and Holt Lake Barbecue Restaurant.

“It goes without saying we are thrilled they chose Ava Gardner to grace their cover and we hope Our State readers will be inspired to visit us soon to tour the museum”, stated Donna Bailey-Taylor, Executive Director, Johnston County Visitors Bureau.

The article inside the March issue features the fashion of Ava and the museum's exhibits that showcase her life and career from her humble beginnings as a farmer's daughter in the Brogden community until her death in London, January, 1990.

This feature article will spark new interest in the museum and no doubt will bring new and repeat visitors to Smithfield. Over 10,000 visitors a year visit the museum from all over the world and several events are held each year like the upcoming “Ava’s Kissing Kin: A Genealogy Seminar” on April 12, and the Annual Ava Gardner Festival which is scheduled for October 3-5, 2014.

In September 1951, Gardner appeared on the cover of Time magazine, featured in a story titled “The Farmer’s Daughter,” which also covered the history and importance of the female star in Hollywood. Time, in its piece on Gardner, added some caveats, noting that she was not “the most beautiful babe in Hollywood, nor was she the best actress. However, she exuded an allure and mysterious qualities that sent the glamour meters clicking...she just might be the one new star who could bring glamour back to Hollywood.” By November 1952, Ava would be featured on the cover of Newsweek, not only for her popularity in Hollywood, but she was Mrs. Frank Sinatra and causing a media storm wherever she went.

The Ava Gardner Museum is located in Historic Downtown Smithfield at 325 E. Market Street and is open seven days a week, Monday-Saturday 9-5pm and Sunday 2-5pm. Admission is $8.00 adults, $7.00 seniors, groups, and military, and $6.00 children 6-12. For more information on the museum, visit the website, www.avagardner or call 919-934-5830.

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