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Norma Shearer Exhibit Launch & Tea Party

Attend the opening launch (and tea party) of the the new exhibit at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, “A Free Soul: The Unexpected Life & Legacy of Norma Shearer” (September 23 to October 16, 2023) an exhibit curated by Shearer historian Darin Barnes.

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Norma Shearer Exhibit Launch & Tea Party
Norma Shearer Exhibit Launch & Tea Party

Time & Location

Sep 23, 2023, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM PDT

Los Angeles, 2100 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA


About the Event

Hollywood Heritage Museum presents “A Free Soul: The Unexpected Life & Legacy of Norma Shearer” (September 23 to October 15, 2023) an exhibit curated by Shearer historian Darin Barnes. On the occasion of the centennial of Norma Shearer (THE DIVORCEE, THE WOMEN) signing her first film contract, Hollywood Heritage celebrates one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, Canadian-American actress Norma Shearer (born August 11, 1902).

An exhibit preview and tea party will launch the month-long Norma Shearer celebration on the museum’s porch on Saturday, September 23 from 11am to 3pm. Barnes will appear in the gallery to tell Norma Shearer tales, plus stories about how he came to acquire certain artifacts of her life including contracts, letters, costumes, personal and professional photos, original posters and more. An entire case is devoted to memorabilia from THE WOMEN, the 1939 melodrama where Shearer's spurned wife character declares she's grown "claws" painted Jungle Red. MARIE ANTOINETTE, A FREE SOUL, ROMEO AND JULIET and THE DIVORCEE are among the many films that are represented in the exhibit.

Shearer has a surprising connection to Jamie Lee Curtis. She says, “In 1946 Norma Shearer was staying with her husband Martin Arrouge, who was a skier, at a hotel near a ski resort. The front desk manager, Fred Morrison, had a photograph of his daughter, Jeanette Helen Morrison on his desk. The story goes that Miss Shearer complemented her great beauty and asked if she could have the photograph. She subsequently brought it to Hollywood and gave it to Lew Wasserman who then sent it to the people at MGM who then screen-tested Jeanette, changed her name to Janet Leigh, and then gave her the starring role opposite Van Johnson in their movie, THE ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE. Because of that miraculous moment, my mother had a glorious career in the film and television industry married Tony Curtis and gave me life and the love of the same industry, that was so important to both of their lives.”We have mounted our first ever large exhibition outside of our permanent collection. The subject is the actress Norma Shearer from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Collector Darin Barnes had curated from his 30 years of collecting on the actress who was once known as the Queen of the MGM lot. This is the first time the collection has been displayed and the first time that a Norma Shearer exhibition of this magnitude has been mounted.

Gallery Talks on October 7 and 14 focus on Ursula Parrott, the writer who penned novels adapted into Shearer films and a look at Norma Shearer's life and career by exhibit curator Darin Barnes.


  • General Admission

    Hollywood Heritage Museum Members

    From $20.00 to $25.00
    Sale ended
    • $20.00
      +$0.50 service fee
    • $25.00
      +$0.63 service fee



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