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  • "Gone With the Wind" Dresses Need Donations

    Thu, 12 Aug 2010 14:58:07

    "Gone With the Wind" Dresses Need Donations - For posterity! [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Dresses worn by the stunning Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in the epic Gone With the Wind, arguably the best film of all time, are in serious need of help and The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin is seeking fan donations to help restore the dresses. The HRC is trying to raise $30,000 to restore five of Scarlett O'Hara's now-tattered gowns from the 1939 film, reports The Associated Press.

    The Ransom Center is planning an exhibit to mark the movie's 75th anniversary in 2014, but at the moment most of the frocks are too fragile to display, according to Jill Morena, the center's collection assistant for costumes and personal effects. "There are areas where the fabric has been worn through, fragile seams and other problems," Morena said. "These dresses have been under a lot of stress." The dresses were not made to last or stand the rest of time; they were made with the intention of being able to withstand the filming process and that's it.

    The Ransom Center acquired the costumes — including O'Hara's green curtain dress, green velvet gown, burgundy ball gown, blue velvet night gown and her wedding gown — in the mid-1980s as part of the collection of Gone With the Wind producer David O. Selznick. By then, they had already been through decades of traveling displays in theaters and had been on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, increasing their wear and tear.

    Yet the green curtain dress — symbolic of O'Hara's determination to survive — has loose seams and needs structural reinforcement. Others have suffered abrasion and areas where the fabric is nearly worn through. Donations will be used to restore the dresses and buy protective housing and custom mannequins for the 2014 exhibit, Morena said. The Ransom Center also hopes to send the dresses out on loan. Donations can be made here:http://www.hrc.utexas.edu.

    Will you donate to help restore these dresses? What is your favorite classic movie?

    —Amy Sciarretto

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