ABOUT THE ACQUISITIONS Marilynn and Kimberly Wick have been amassing theatrical wardrobes for well over 40 years, beginning with the very first acquisition of the Broadway production of Bells Are Ringing in 2001. Since 2010, those wardrobes have been made available for viewing by the public in four previous exhibitions. This fifth installation is a step toward the greater mission of making historically significant wardrobes accessible to an audience unfamiliar with the craftsmanship and artistry of this unique art form. The acquisition of Dodger Costumes forms the base of the collection, but significant contributions since then have broadened the scope of the museum by introducing new and exciting aspects in costume design. Bling is a collage of design mastery from many resources, but those highlighted here, and the Liberace exhibit, are the most noteworthy.
DODGER COSTUMES Costume World’s 2005 acquisition of Dodger Costumes forms the basis of the collection. With over 30 original Broadway wardrobes, it represents the work of the finest costume designers, drapers, seamstresses and tailors in the industry whose body of work spanned over 100 years of designs for the American theatre. This particular acquisition became the inspiration for the first exhibit in Pompano Beach, Florida and was called “The Broadway Collection.” The museum welcomed over 20,000 guests in the first three years of its existence. Combining this acquisition with the existing Costume World Broadway wardrobes grew the stock to one of the largest theatrical collections in the country.
JEAN ANN RYAN FOLLIES COLLECTION Heralded as a leader in the creation of world-class entertainment at sea, Jean Ann Ryan orchestrated the transformation of a movie theater on the SS France into a proscenium theater that would become the SS Norway for Norwegian Cruise Lines. This historic undertaking included the debut of full-scale Broadway musicals in repertoire with glamorous Las Vegas revues. Ryan continued to develop projects for Norwegian for over 30 years as well as entertainments ranging from theme parks, television specials, private events and full-scale Broadway shows and her associations include work with Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
HOLLYWOOD, FILM & MADAME BERTHE Hollywood and film are represented in the collection with pieces purchased from several auctions worldwide. The landmark auction by actress Debbie Reynolds in 2011 garnered a host of iconic costumes and set pieces, including Betty Hutton’s glitz costume from Annie, Get Your Gun, fur stoles worn by Mae West, Edith Head’s address book and the throne Yul Brenner used as the King of Siam in The King and I. The 2016 Joan Rivers’ Christies auction brought the Wick Costume Museum five signature gowns and a variety of personal items including wall sconces and exquisite pieces from her personal vanity. Many of these extraordinary pieces, plus a number of unknown film collectibles and exquisite wardrobes from the House of Mme. Berthe, will be on display in this exhibit.
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