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."
"The archive has never been publicly available before so we're discovering nuggets of information about Vivien Leigh that haven't been documented before and have given a fresh insight to her life."