Time to Clean Out Your Closets & Garages!

by Louise Coffey-Webb, Costume Committee Chair

Oscar-winning design - Culver City Historical Society

Summer is upon us and I, for one, am trying to clean out the quantities of “stuff” that seem to multiply mysteriously over the years in my garage. I unpack my summer clothes and look at them once more.

Do they still fit? Are they representative of who I am this year? Even though that garment used to be my absolute favorite – isn’t it a bit shabby after all these years?

All this evaluating got me thinking about the readers of this column and what you may have in your garage.

Might There Be Some MGM Auction Items Around?

Although I moved here from England over three decades ago, I was not here for the legendary MGM auction. I have worked at various museums where donors have come in from time to time with items they purchased at the auction saying “it seemed like a good idea at the time!”

And actually it was, because now those objects have been saved from obscurity (as well as Halloween and the grand kids dress-up!), and will be catalogued, researched and preserved for current and future generations to enjoy.

So I am wondering if any of you have items in your garage that may be of interest to the Culver City Historical Society? We are particularly interested in costumes that were acquired at the MGM auction, or other costumes that you may have held onto, because you mother or grandmother worked in the industry, or perhaps you yourself were an actor and held onto a favorite character you played.

CCHS ARC Donation Policy

The policy of the Culver City Historical Society Archives and Resource Center (ARC) states that it “will gratefully accept donations that relate to local history.” However, “the Society reserves the right to decline donations deemed inappropriate to the enhancement of the collection.”

Each donor will receive an official letter of acknowledgement stating the CCHS is a charitable non-profit 501(c)3 organization, with our tax identification number listed along with an inventory or description of the donation.

As it is considered a conflict of interest for the CCHS to appraise your donation, please speak with your accountant about valuing your donation. The IRS often changes such details and sums under which donations need not have an official appraisal, which is why I advise professional advice in such situations.

Academy Award Winner

Here is a photo of a costume that was donated by Ann Bein to the Woodbury Fashion Study Collection, from the MGM auction. It is from the 1962 musical The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm starring Laurence Harvey & an all-star cast, and it won a costume Oscar for Mary Wills.

Again, be reminded that costumes and other film artifacts should be pertinent to the local history of Culver City as well as having connections to our three majors and the minor studios which make us the “Heart of Screenland.”

Now, I wonder what you will discover in your “summer” cleaning…

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