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Costumes Fall 2013


by Sharon Shore, Costumes Chair


Beginning in the spring of this year, we continued a project to transfer handwritten costume catalog information from notebooks to the Society’s museum collection database. We hope to finish the transfer by the end of the year. At completion, the cataloged contents of our collection will be more readily available to our members, researchers, and the general public.

The process of creating a database for the entire collection can lead to renewed consideration for understanding the collection. We now know that 26 different film productions can be positively identified by labels sewn in the inside of some costumes.

Periodically, we have shown films associated with costumes on display, if known. A whole new dimension is added to the display when the costume appears “in action” within the film narrative.

Although the Society has a small but growing collection of DVDs and videos in the archive, only one film is matched with a costume.

Thanks to a donation of Volume I of a set of Esther Williams films by Stuart Freeman, the rhinestone-covered swimsuit in our collection appears as it looked on Esther Williams in This Time for Keeps (1947).

Some of you might have seen the costumes from Billy Rose’s Jumbo, currently on display, as they appear in the final scenes from the film, shown during public open hours, thanks to a loan from Judy Stangler.

Following are the twenty-five other films that have been identified with our MGM costumes in the collection. It is our hope to build the Society’s DVD library with copies of them. Some are obscure and difficult to locate.

Assistance by a donation and/or information about the availability of any of the films listed would be much appreciated and add to the pleasure of seeing them in historical context.

Our film screenings in the ARC during public hours are free and open to all.

  • Billy Rose’s Jumbo, 1962
  • The Bride Goes Wild, 1948
  • Broadway Serenade, 1939
  • The Brothers Karamazov, 1958
  • Give a Girl a Break, 1953
  • Honky Tonk, 1941
  • The Kissing Bandit, 1948
  • Les Girls, 1957
  • A Life of Her Own, 1950
  • Little Women, 1949
  • Living in a Big Way, 1947
  • Love Me or Leave Me, 1955
  • Madame Bovary, 1949
  • Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944
  • Merry Widow, 1952
  • Neptunes’s Daughter, 1949
  • The Painted Veil, 1934
  • The Pirate, 1948
  • Saddle the Wind, 1958
  • Small Town Girl, 1953
  • The Swan, 1956
  • Take Me Out to the Ballgame, 1949
  • Three Wise Fools, 1946
  • Two Sisters from Boston, 1946
  • Undercover Maisie, 1947
  • Valley of Decision, 1945
  • Words and Music, 1948

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