Doylestown museum plays host to a princess’ possessions

November 8, 2013 by  

Before she became the Princess of Monaco, and before she won the Oscar for best actress, Grace Kelly was a resident of East Falls, in Philadelphia. To honor her life and the time she spent in Pennsylvania, the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown is holding a special exhibition of her gowns and other possessions.

Titled “From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly – Beyond the Icon”, the exhibition traces the whole of Kelly’s life. Items on display include the gown she wore to the Oscars in 1955, when she won for best actress for her work in ‘The Country Girl’. The gown was designed by renowned costumer Edith Head. The museum might consider postcard printing featuring an image of the gown to promote the show.

Although both Hollywood and actual royalty, Princess Grace was known for her practical nature. She wore the Head gown on multiple occasions, according to Kristina Haugland, a curator with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She also kept all of her clothing, meaning the exhibition is full of rare garments from major designers including Balenciaga, Yves St. Laurent, and Dior.

Grace Kelly had a remarkably narrow waist, just 21 inches, when she was young, so the museum had to use custom-made mannequins to display her gowns and dresses. The exhibition will also feature letters to Princess Grace from fellow actors such as Cary Grant, and members of royalty such as Queen Elizabeth.

The exhibit opened the last week of October and is scheduled to run until January 26.