Victoria and Albert buys Vivien Leigh’s archives
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
The Victoria and Albert Museum found in London has bought famous ‘Gone with the wind’ star Vivien Leigh’s personal archive from her grandchildren.The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London has bought Vivien Leigh’s personal archive from the grandchildren of the star of screen and stage, Artnewspaper.com has reported. In addition to thousands of letters, including professional correspondence with the playwright Tennessee Williams and notes to and from her second husband, the actor Laurence Olivier, the archive contains photographs, including albums of stills from the film “Gone with the Wind.” There are also diaries, visitor books, and Leigh’s annotated film and theater scripts. As well as digitizing the items, the V&A plans to show selected items from the collection in its Theatre and Performance Galleries starting this autumn.
Cost of Vivien Leigh archive not known
A spokeswoman for the museum declined to disclose the cost of the purchase, which has been made with V&A funds via fine art agent Robert Holden. Meanwhile, the Topsham Museum, Devon, is also celebrating Leigh’s life and career in an exhibition marking the centenary of her birth in 1913. Her first husband grew up in the small fishing port in the southwest of England. The local connection resulted in a remarkable gift to the museum, which was founded by his sister. Leigh’s daughter gave the museum many items, including the silk nightdress her mother wore in her Oscar-winning role of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind,” along with a memo from the film producer, Selznick, giving the wardrobe department permission to let Leigh keep the costume.