The exhibition features original gowns, costumes and artifacts of the film and is derived entirely from one collector, James Tumblin, who has the largest privately-held collection of memorabilia from the film.
By Claudine Tomlinson-Burney
The exhibition Gone With the Wind: Reel to Real, commemorates the 75th anniversary of one of the most popular films ever made. The nationally significant exhibition relives the magic of the iconic novel and film through artifacts and memorabilia. The exhibition features original gowns, costumes and artifacts of the film and is derived entirely from one collector, James Tumblin, who has the largest privately-held collection of memorabilia from the film.
James Tumblin, who was a former head of the Universal Studios makeup and hair department, started his collection in 1962 when he purchased the first dress from the film for only $20.
Actress Vivien Leigh wore this dress during the attack at Shantytown scene in Gone With the Wind.
“I was doing research for a film and looking at costumes, and noticed there was this dress lying on the floor. I went over to pick it up when someone told me, ‘don’t bother we’re throwing it away’, says Tumblin. I had no idea where it was from. I saw the label that read Selznick International Scarlett, and I realized I was holding something from Gone With the Wind.” Actress Vivien Leigh wore this dress during the attack at Shantytown scene in Gone With the Wind. It is featured in the exhibit Gone With the Wind: Reel to Real. Photo Credit: NC Museum of History.
Tumblin’s collection now includes more than 300,000 authentic Gone With the Wind items including, says Tumblin, three Oscars won by cast members. The exhibition runs August 16 – November 30, 2014 at the History Center. A series of special events and a VIP reception will be presented including a grand opening August 16. “We are excited to have the opportunity to host Mr. Tumblin’s collection of Gone With the Wind memorabilia.
What better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the film’s premier than to bring this exhibit to Central Florida. We know our guests will be thrilled to discover the history behind the making of the movie and see all of the costumes and items from Gone With the Wind. Mr. Tumblin’s collection is a must-see and a great way to find out the story behind one of the few movies to have shaped our culture and how we think about history.” Michael Perkins, Curator of Exhibits.
Bonnie Blue Butler’s velvet dress from her final scene. Photo Credit: NC Museum of History
Released in 1939 and based on Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gone With the Wind, the movie’s depiction of pre-Civil War American South and Reconstruction “continues to resonate in the national consciousness. It is captivating and enthralling, heartfelt and ironic, troubling and comforting, repulsive and compelling—all at once!” wrote popular culture historian, Spencer Downing, Ph.D. in 2007. Both the book and the movie have helped define our impressions of the South—from the stereotypes of African Americans to Southern belles, to Yankee scoundrels—shaping our memories throughout the 20th century and even into the 21st century.
To explore these contradictions and our impressions of both the novel, the movie and this time period in American history, the History Center is planning a series of programs throughout the exhibit’s stay.
About the Orange County Regional History Center
The Orange County Regional History Center, housed in a restored historic five-story 1927 courthouse in downtown Orlando, showcases the vast collection of the Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc. The museum features three floors of permanent exhibits and presents nationally limited-run exhibitions. The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and accredited by the American Association of Museums. We honor the Past, Explore the Present to Shape the Future. We do this through preserving our local history, acting as a repository for the community’s artifacts, archives and collections, and through providing a place for non-partisan dialogue on our community and history, through educational programs and exhibits, which reinforce that we all are part of history.
The Orange County Regional History Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission during the exhibit is $15; seniors (60+), students, and military with I.D. $13; and children ages 5-12 $12. Historical Society Members and children ages 4 and under are free. Parking is available at the adjacent Orlando Public Library garage on Central Blvd. For general information, call 407-836-8500 or click here.