IN THE OAKIE GALLERY :
"Hollywood in Miniature" Grows!
The Jack and Victoria Horne Oakie Gallery was dedicated on Wednesday, May 30th. David Sonne, Trustee of the Jack and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation along with Hollywood Heritage president Richard Adkins, marked the dedication by revealing the sign in the gallery designating the gallery's new name.
Mr. Sonne shared rare footage of the Oakies at their Northridge estate "Oakridge" for the audience.
Jack and Victoria Horne Oakie.
Trustee David Sonne and HH President Adkins.
Following the debut of the downtown Hollywood miniature, Hollywood Heritage was contacted regarding an additional available miniature also by Joseph Pelkofer but not displayed in decades. Donna Gunther of "Surfing Cowboys" sent us photographs of the generic Hollywood Studio which was part of the set. It was her hope that we would add the miniature to our collection. As the second most intact model of the set, we were - and did acquire the miniature studio which is now on display at the museum.
Studio Model photos courtesy Surfing Cowboys.
You may have seen this miniature a number of years ago when it was housed at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, or before that at "On Location Hollywood" which was a Paramount Studio gift shop on Hollywood Boulevard in what is now the Jimmy Kimmel Theatre. Hollywood Heritage has a long history with these as they were purchased in 1984 by Hollywood Heritage founder Marian Gibbons. Marian had purchased them from Joe Pelkofer, a Hollywood cabinet maker who made them in 1938. More rightly, Mr. Pelkofer had his staff of carpenters make them in order to keep them busy in between assignments. Originally there were several, including miniatures of Grauman's Chinese, the Brown Derby, the Hollywood Bowl and the Malibu movie colony. They were originally displayed in Hollywood, but then went to the Steel Pier in New Jersey and eventually to Mr. Pelkofer's farm in North Carolina, which is where they were when Ms. Gibbons purchased them. They were restored by Landmark Entertainment in 1985, and were at On Location Hollywood until that business closed. They were then obtained by the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, and on display there until that museum closed. The miniatures were purchased at auction by Dan Collins, a musician who fell in love with them and just wanted them saved. Through research, Dan located Hollywood Heritage and asked if we were interested in purchasing them. With several generous donations, Hollywood Heritage did purchase them, but had to store them for several years while awaiting a placed to work on them. Interaction with Kerry Morrison of the Hollywood Business Incentive District office brought us into contact with Robertson-Pacific, who offered former retail store space for the miniature project on Hollywood Boulevard.
The miniatures are a treasure of Hollywood and Hollywood Heritage is proud to be the steward of these remarkable artifacts. Our challenge is to restore them and make them more available for viewing following that restoration. Donna Williams a board member who is also an arts conservator and restoration expert is supervising the restoration. This is a costly procedure though, and any and all donations towards restoration are greatly appreciated and welcomed. To donate, click on the "Donate" icon at right.