Princess Diana exhibit opens at Louisville’s Frazier History Museum

Exhibition chronicles the life and work of Diana through 150 personal objects, including her wedding gown

The Frazier Museum will host an exhibition celebrating the legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2012) — On Saturday, just over 15 years after her death, the Frazier History Museum will debut an exhibition celebrating the legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales. The award-winning and much-anticipated exhibition, “Diana: A Celebration,” which examines the life of the princess, will be on display at the Frazier History Museum through Jan. 13.

The 7,500 s.f. exhibition, presented at the Frazier Museum by Chase and JP Morgan, explores the life and humanitarian work of one of the 20th century’s most remarkable women. Princess Diana’s life is explored through nine galleries containing 150 objects, ranging from her royal wedding gown and 28 designer dresses, to family jewels, heirlooms, personal mementoes, paintings, rare home movies and photos.

Announcement of the blockbuster exhibition, which has averaged 100,000 visitors at past venues, comes a year after the Frazier Museum announced fundamental changes to its vision – shifting its focus to become a more comprehensive history museum and to dramatically lessen its focus on historical arms. Last spring, the Frazier Museum, home of Britain’s Royal Armouries USA, also unveiled a new brand identity and more concise “Frazier History Museum” name.

“Diana: A Celebration” comes to the Frazier directly from the Althorp Estate in England, the Spencer Family’s 500-year-old ancestral home, where it is on display every summer. A portion of the proceeds generated to the Althorp Estate from the exhibition, produced by Arts & Exhibitions International, benefit charitable causes including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

A series of 150 objects illustrates the life of Princess Diana and invites visitors to share the milestones of her many roles: as a youngster, schoolgirl and athlete; as the shy kindergarten teacher who captured the heart of the prince and the public; as the young, ravishing royal bride; as the devoted mother, sister and daughter; and as the tireless charity advocate and spokeswoman. The strength of the Spencer women and their roots in the bucolic 500-year-old Althorp Estate form the backdrop for Diana’s formative years.

Also featured in the exhibition are family jewels, heirlooms, paintings, artifacts, photos and portraits of her ancestors, which provide historical context. Home movies filmed by her father and scenes from her childhood, her engagement to Prince Charles and the events leading up to the Royal Wedding are remembered and animated with video clips, personal possessions, photos, displays and letters. The glorious Royal Wedding gallery features her resplendent gown, diamond tiara, veil and 25-ft. train, as well as her shoes, parasol and bridesmaid’s dress, among other items.

One entire section of the exhibition is devoted to Princess Diana’s energetic and multi-faceted public life and the myriad of charities and causes she supported, including her pioneering efforts that generated awareness for AIDS, landmine victims and the homeless. A three-screened video presentation highlights the hundreds of associations that continue to benefit from her patronage and dedication. The world’s grief at her untimely death is evident in a display of books of condolence and space for reflection and remembrance.

A few of the many dazzling items on display include:

— 28 designer dresses, suits and evening gowns worn by the Princess during her public life, accompanied by photos and details from the events at which the outfits were worn

— Two diamond tiaras and other priceless family jewels

— The original text of Earl Spencer’s moving tribute to his sister at her Westminster Abbey funeral

— Score and lyrics of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin composition, adapted from “Candle in the Wind”

— Original heritage family paintings

— Diana’s magnificent Royal Wedding gown

Further exhibition details are available at DianaExhibition.com.

During “Diana: A Celebration,” museum operating hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesday until 8 p.m.

To learn more about the museum, visit FrazierMuseum.org.

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