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Press Release
Media Contacts
Lynette Nyman (612) 870.3173;
Tammy Pleshek (612) 870.3171;

Debbie Reynolds Featured Speaker for
Friends Lecture at the MIA

Minneapolis, August 21, 2007—Actress and entertainer Debbie Reynolds opens this season’s Friend of the Institute lecture series at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Ms. Reynolds will speak about her remarkable collection of film costumes. “Immortalizing the Legend of Hollywood Through Costume Preservation” will be presented on Thursday, September 20, at 11 A.M. This lecture is generously sponsored by the Mary and Mark Fiterman lecture fund.

Ms. Reynolds is perhaps most famous for her many Hollywood and Broadway achievements, jump-starting her career as Kathy Seldon in the 1952 classic “Singing in the Rain” She was nominated for an Oscar for her work in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” appeared on Broadway in “Annie Get Your Gun,” and is the mother of actress and author Carrie Fisher. She is not as well known, however, for one of her greatest interests, which is the topic of her upcoming lecture: her extensive collection of Hollywood costumes.

Ms. Reynolds has been collecting for more than 30 years and has amassed more than 3,200 costumes. “The Hollywood I remember well from my early years in the business—the real ‘Golden Era’—is now gone,” she once stated. “What is left of it in this collection should be preserved and protected for future generations.” The collection includes Marilyn Monroe’s white subway dress from The Seven Year Itch, Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, and props from Gone with the Wind. Ensembles worn by Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Katherine Hepburn, and Julie Andrews also populate her collection.

The Friends monthly lecture series continues through May 2008. Speakers will include the Archduke Géza von Habsburg of Austria, whose royal family ruled over a considerable part of Europe for more than 700 years and was a great patron of the arts; journalist and art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, who will speak on the pivotal part of Georgia O’Keeffe’s life that has inspired the upcoming exhibition “Circling Around Abstraction”; and Mary Anne Wise, whose trip to Guatemala inspired her campaign to help mudslide victims regain their weaving resources.

For reservations, call (612) 870-6323. Tickets are available beginning August 21. All Friends lectures are free and open to the public; however, reservations must be made as there is limited seating. For further information or questions, contact the Friends office at (612) 870-3045 or at Information can also be found at

Friends Lecture Schedule
· October 11, Hunter Drohojowski-Philp, “A Woman Changed: Georgia O’Keeffe in the ‘30s”
· November 8, Shirley Romaine,
“The Charmed Circle”
· December 13, Géza von Habsburg,
“The Habsburgs as Collectors and Patrons of the Arts”
· January 10, Mary Anne Wise,
“Weave a Better Life: Helping the survivors of Panabaj, Guatemala”
· February 14, Joseph Baillio,
“The Life and Art of Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun”

· March 13, Catherine Hess,
“The Arts of Fire: Islamic Influences on Glass and Ceramics of the Italian Renaissance”
· April 10, Nancy Wilkie,
“The Illicit Trade in Antiquities and its Impact on the World’s Cultural Heritage”
· May 8, Mikka Gee Conway,
“Important Photographs in the MIA Collection”

About The Friends of the Institute
The Friends of the Institute is a volunteer group that works to broaden the influence of the Minneapolis Institute of Art by supporting its activities and forwarding its interests. Everyone who is a member of the Minneapolis Institute of Art may become a member of the Friends. For more information, please contact the Friends office at (612) 870-3045.

About the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses nearly 100,000 works of art representing more the 5,000 years of world history. Highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt, Poussin, and van Gogh; modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Stella, and Close; as well as internationally significant collections of prints and drawings, decorative arts, Modernist design, photographs, prints and drawings, and Asian, African, and Native American art. General admission is always free. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 A.M. –5 P.M.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 A.M.–5 P.M.; Thursday, 10 A.M.–9 P.M.; Monday, closed. For more information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit