VINCENTENNIAL: The Legacy of Vincent Price Exhibit Opens in St. Louis
Vincentennial: The Legacy of Vincent Price Exhibit opened at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis last Friday, April 22nd. Despite tornado alerts and it being Good Friday, there was a turnout of over 250 enthusiastic people on hand for the opening night reception. The free wine, Stella Artois beer, and snacks were appreciated by the crowd who at one point were sent downstairs while the tornado alarms went off. Fortunately, the Vincent Price Exhibit was downstairs as well, and when the beer made it down there, it just became more of a party. I’m pretty sure Vincent Price was behind the wicked weather. The Sheldon is located at 3648 Washington Boulevard in Saint Louis. The exhibit is in the Ann Lee and Wilfred Konneker Gallery on the first floor and runs through August 6th. The exhibition is underwritten by Mary Strauss and curated by Tom Stockman.
Vincentennial: The Legacy of Vincent Price is a one-of-a-kind exhibit of historical artifacts, movie memorabilia, and collectibles assembled from the collections of several Vincent Price fans from across the country. In honor of the upcoming centennial of his birth, this exhibit is designed to honor the life and career of one of the 20th century’s most remarkable men. Robert Taylor, Rick Squires, Jenni Nolan O’dell, and Cortland Hull are Price aficionados spread out across the U.S. who are all loaning items from their collections as well as some St. Louis-based collectors. Robert’s brought some one-of-a-kind pieces from Price’s childhood and youth, Rick’s loaned just a fraction of his enormous collection of ephemera and collectibles from all aspects of Price’s career, and Cortland brought (among other things) his life-size figures of Dr. Phibes and Professor Jarrod from HOUSE OF WAX (which is wearing the actual costume Price wore in the film). MICDS (formerly St. Louis Country Day School, Price’s Alma Mater) lent items from their archives as well.
Other highlights in the exhibit include Vincent Price’s baby book, which chronicles his birth and includes his baby mittens, locks of hair, and other items; his high school yearbook; membership cards from his wallet; a sympathy letter he wrote to Evie Karloff on the death of his friend, Boris Karloff; a drawing by Price of the actress Helen Hayes when they were on-stage in London in the 1930s; a postcard to Vincent Price from Ernest Hemingway; theatre programs from his high school days through to his later years when he played Oscar Wilde onstage in the one-man show Diversions and Delights to great acclaim.
And of course there is lots of movie memorabilia. The original one-sheet poster from his 1938 film debut SERVICE DELUXE is displayed as well as other original vintage posters including those for HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, BARON OF ARIZONA, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, THE TINGLER (There’s an actual Tingler crawling up this poster, so scream for your lives!), HOUSE OF USHER, THE MAD MAGICIAN and many more. Also there will be original lobby cards displayed from LAURA, LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN, SONG OF BERNADETTE, TOMB OF LIGEIA, CONQUEROR WORM, PIT AND THE PENDULUM, and more. There are Vincent Price toys, comics, and other collectibles displayed as well as several resin model kits of Price from such films as PIT AND THE PENDULUM, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, THE RAVEN and a new resin kit from THEATER OF BLOOD that is making its world premiere at this exhibit.
Born in St. Louis on May 27, 1911, Price was a Renaissance man who became an iconic movie star, was a gourmet chef, author, stage and radio actor, speaker, world-class art collector and raconteur. His long career stretched over 55 years, beginning in 1938 at the height of the golden age of Hollywood cinema, and reached its apex with his legendary horror films of the 1960s and 70s. His later years were equally abundant, with an array of voice work and fine performances in films like The Whales of August and Edward Scissorhands. Although sometimes regarded as a camp figure (which he playfully encouraged in some contexts), Price was nonetheless an actor of real range and substance. Price loved St. Louis and was proud of his roots. He gave much to the city and the exhibit honors his legacy and his heritage.
Here are some images of the exhibit. Click on the thumbnail for a larger pic