Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gone with the Wind Costume Restoration

Ashley came across this press release yesterday.  It details the efforts of the University of Texas at Austin to raise sufficient funds to restore five of Vivien Leigh's iconic costumes from Gone with the Wind.  Apparently, they've been so well-traveled over the years that they're quite literally falling to pieces and UT would like to find a way to conserve them and reinforce them enough that they can be shown again during a 75th anniversary exhibition for the film in 2014.  I understood that the Met here in NYC had several of these gowns on display, though I'm not sure if they were these or others from the film, as I've always been too involved in work to get over there see them!  I'm sorry for that now, especially if they are heading back to Texas, oh-so-far out of my reach.  It's such a shame they've deteriorated to this extent, and it certainly does speak to the fragility of items like these, and how crucial it is that steps are taken to preserve what is there before it's too late.

Back in 1998, Gone with the Wind was restored and re-released to theatres and we went to see it with our mother and a family friend, both of whom remembered seeing it in earlier re-releases in the 60s and 70s.  There's just something about that massive screen enabling those sweeping views to mean more than they do on a television aspect ratio.  They certainly don't come close to achieving movies like that anymore - in either the artistry of the cinematography or the impressive, larger-than-life quality of the costumes.


lahbluebonnet said...

Hook 'em Horns! Sorry! I lived 2 hours south of Austin and Dad raised me to be a good Longhorn fan. I am thrilled they are going to try to restore the costumes. The kids and I were talking and wondering why UT?

Tom Wilcox said...

I saw the costumes at the Metropolitan Museum. They were still owned by the Selznick family and they were indeed the real thing