Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mae West: San Francisco Metreon

Items that once belonged to MAE WEST will be displayed on the West Coast as part of a large-scale exhibition: "Hollywood Legends: The Barry Barsamian Collection."
• • Ninety-five icons of stage, screen, and even TV series are represented in this show which has brought together an astonishing number of daytime garments, gowns, loungewear, ties, accessories, character costumes, fur coats, hats, jewelry, posters, photos, and props for this colorful array at the Metreon — — such as the ruby slippers and costumes worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz."
• • A resident of Oakland, California, Barsamian got interested in collecting when, as a youngster, he would save his allowance to purchase TV Guides and also Shirley Temple dolls. Having a cousin in the entertainment industry [actor Mike Connors] sparked his interest in meeting other celebrities. Many of the items he acquired were purchased directly from personalities such as Mae West. Over the years, he hoarded and preserved paraphernalia belonging to Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Barbara Eden, Lucille Ball, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Agnes Moorhead, Bob Hope, Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, and others.
• • The show can be seen at the San Francisco Metreon (corner of 4th and Mission Streets).
• • The exhibition is scheduled to run from noon to 8:00 PM from Wednesdays — Sundays on the theater's ground floor.
• • The Barry Barsamian Collection exhibit will be on display until the end of May.
• • Several California publications have written about this passionate collector but the most interesting article appears in The San Francisco Chronicle.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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