Vivien Leigh's archive will be go on display at the V&A this winter.
Love letters from Vivien Leigh to Laurence Olivier, her husband from 1940-61, will be exhibited as part of a new show at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A announced Wednesday that it had acquired the Oscar-winning actress's archive in the centenary of her birth.
The British actress is best known for her roles as stoic Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 epic Gone With The Wind and as the frail Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.
Continue reading: Vivien Leigh's Love Letters to Laurence Olivier Set For London V&A Show
The exhibition will go on show after the museum has finished cataloguing the items. Digital records will also be available to the public.
London’s world famous Victoria and Albert Museum will soon play host to a unique exhibition of letters from Vivien Leigh’s personal archive. The Gone With The Wind actress is one of the icons of the golden age of cinema and certainly one of the most revered British actresses to date. The 7,500 letters to be exhibited at the London museum form a sort of catalogue of Leigh’s life. The collection even includes love letters exchanged between the actress and her husband, Laurence Olivier, the BBC reports, as well as many other never-before-seen artifacts from the iconic actress’s era.
The collection also features other items, which might be of interest for Leigh or cinema enthusiasts, such as diaries, photographs, annotated film and theatre scripts and her numerous awards – Vivien Leigh was an Oscar winner, among other things. Of course, the thousands of items will not be on display simultaneously. The exhibits will be in rotation starting this autumn, meaning that it will take several visits to the museum to take in the entire collection.
The exhibition curators will be greatly aided in their work by Leigh’s diaries, which will also go in display. The thorough journals also help chronicle the star’s life – both professional and private – since she had been keeping them from 1929 (she was 19 at the time), all throughout her life, until her death in 1967. Museum visitors will be able to trace Leigh’s life through this period. The V&A Museum team is also very excited about the collection, with curator Keith Lodwick saying for the BBC: "It really explores the life of one of Great Britain's most celebrated performers."
Kenneth Branagh has received his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland. The Oscar-nominated actor, director and screenwriter, is best known for his Shakespearean works though most recently played Swedish detective Wallander in the BBC series of the same name.
Sir Kenneth joins the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Laurence Olivier in becoming a thespian knight. Branagh - who recently starred in the Marilyn Monroe movie My Week With Marilyn - told Sky News that he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky," to have received the award, adding, "When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team. I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt and my heart's fit to burst." Branagh spent his early years in Northern Ireland though moved to Reading with his family at the age of nine.
In today's ceremony, two British servicemen were awarded the Military Cross for bravery. Corporal Carl Taylor from Birmingham ran 80 feet across open ground under Taliban fire to rescue three young Afghan children. Bombardier Mark Carpenter of the Royal Artillery was also honoured, as were four fire-fighters from Nottinghamshire who received the Queen's Gallantry Medal for acts of bravery.
Continue reading: Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!
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