Monday, June 29, 2015

Arts Insider Pick of the Week: “Love, Shirley Temple”

The Frazier History Museum brings one of Hollywood’s most iconic and memorable child stars to life as it presents “Love, Shirley Temple,” *a six-day (only) exhibit featuring nearly 200 items from the legendary actress’s personal collection of movie costumes, dolls and memorabilia.

“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’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.

*Louisville is one of just seven cities exhibiting this collection, which will soon go on the auction block.

Where: Frazier History Museum, 829 W Main St,
When: July 3-8th
Contact: 502.753.5663 or

-Gioia Patton

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