Academy Museum to Display Costumes From 'Dracula,' 'Singin' in the Rain'

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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The new museum acquired Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape, which the actor kept in his personal collection, as a partial gift from his family.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Monday announced the sartorial legends that will be on display as part of its costume collection. 

With its opening delayed until at least 2020, the museum revealed that costumes from Dracula, Singin' in the Rain, The Little PrincessMadame Bovary, The ShiningAn American in ParisCleopatraThe Big Lebowski and Mary Queen of Scots will be among those showcased at the exhibit on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. 

The Academy received Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape as a partial gift from his family (he personally kept it after filming until he died). “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, the actor's son, in a statement. “It became clear that there is no better home 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.”

Added exhibitions curator Jessica Niebel, “This outstanding acquisition simultaneously represents the character of Count Dracula as a cultural icon and the life and career of an extraordinary actor, Bela Lugosi. It is important to us as a museum to be able to restore and safeguard this artifact, especially knowing that much of the material history of the classic horror cycle has been lost forever. We are deeply grateful to the Lugosi family for entrusting us with a treasure that means so much to them.”

Other gifts include Shirley Temple’s gown, cape, crown and scepter from Little Princess; Jennifer Jones' wedding dress from Madame Bovary; a cloche hat worn by Debbie Reynolds in Singin’ in the Rain; and an Ann Blyth gown from The King’s Thief

The museum, chaired by Bob Iger with co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks, also purchased several costumes: Jeff Bridges' robe and shorts from The Big Lebowski; Susan Sarandon's waitress outfit from Thelma and Louise; Gene Kelly’s sweater and slacks from An American in Paris; Sammy Davis, Jr.’s Sportin’ Life suit from Porgy and Bess; Jack Nicholson's crimson jacket from The Shining; Elizabeth Taylor's black wig from Cleopatra; Marlene Dietrich’s robe from Blonde Venus; Diana Ross’ Billie Holiday costume from Lady Sings the Blues; Richard Pryor’s baseball uniform from The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; Sonia Braga's black sequin dress from Kiss of the Spider Woman; Kathy Bates' denim and flannel costume from Misery; and a regal outfit worn by Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots.

Among the Academy Museum donors with named spaces are Cheryl and Haim Saban; David Geffen; Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg; Steven Spielberg; and Shirley Temple Black.

Other recent Hollywood costume exhibitions include Warner Bros. Studios' "Classics Made Here" presentation, which displayed costumes from My Fair Lady and Casablanca in 2018; a Ruth E. Carter costume exhibition during New York Fashion Week in February; the Paley Center's Mrs. Maisel showcase in New York; and The Met Costume Institute's “In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection,” which is set to open Nov. 27.