News // ACADEMY MUSEUM ACQUIRES BELA LUGOSI'S CAPE

The Dracula costume piece is one of many legendary Hollywood artifacts coming to the museum.



The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced today that it has acquired a number of iconic movie costumes over the last year through generous donations, partial gifts, and purchase. In its release, the museum shared Costume Design will be one of the arts explored in the inaugural exhibitions.


Among the newest additions to the collection is the cape worn by Bela Lugosi in his legendary performance as Dracula in 1931's Dracula. The cape was personally owned by Lugosi after he filmed the classic and he continued wearing it on stage and in personal appearances. Upon his death, Lugosi's ex-wife Lillian took possession. She later presented the cape to Lugosi's son, Bela G. Lugosi. The acquisition of the cape by the museum comes as a partial gift from the Lugosi family.


"My father's screen-worn cape has had a very special place in my life and in the lives of my children and grandchildren. In fact, it has been a part of my mother's household and then my household since I was born - for over 80 years," said Bela G. Lugosi in the release from the museum. "After several years of discussions with Founding Director Kerry Brougher, who showed such care and appreciation of its important role in film history, it became clear that there is no better hoe for the cape than the Academy Museum, allowing movie lovers to view a piece of classic horror film history and enjoy Bela Lugosi's acclaimed performance for years to come."


The cape is joined by Shirley Temple's gown, cape, crown, and scepter from 1939's The Little Princess (donated by the Family of Shirley Temple Black), the wedding dress worn by Jennifer Jones in 1949's Madame Bovary (donated by the Arnold R. Kunert Collection), the cloche worn by Debbie Reynolds in Singin' in the Rain (donated by Lauri Buehler), and the gown worn by Ann Blyth in 1955's The King's Thief (also donated by the Kunert Collection).


The museum has also added to its collection by purchasing many iconic clothing items, including Gene Kelly's sweater and slacks from An American in Paris, the crimson jacket worn by Jack Nicholson in The Shining, and the robe and shorts worn by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski.


Since 2008, the Academy Museum has been actively acquiring tangible motion picture objects. Its collection now holds approximately 3,500 items representing costume design, motion picture technology, production design, makeup and hairstyling, promotional materials and memorabilia, and awards.


The museum is set to open in 2020.

© 2018 by Scottie Knollin.

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