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It’s hard to say exactly what makes a story everlasting, but popularity certainly has something to do with it. When it comes to popularity, few stories have garnered more enduring and loyal fans than Margaret Mitchell’s literary classic “Gone with the Wind.” Mitchell’s book about southern belle turned industry titan, Scarlett O’Hara, was published in 1936. Just three years later, the movie adaptation was released to audience and critical acclaim. Despite being released in 1939, “Gone with the Wind” remains one of the highest grossing films of all time when adjusted for inflation. There is still a great love for this romanticized story of the American South. That love is even more present at the Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum. This unique museum collects memorabilia from both the novel and the famous film. When visiting the museum, guests can view a number of Margaret Mitchell’s personal copies of her novel, foreign editions of the book, international promotional materials for the film, an educational display dedicated to the African American cast members, and the personal script of Ona Munson, the actress who portrayed Belle Watling in the film.
For many guests, the highlight of the Gone with the Wind Museum is the original Bengaline Honeymoon Gown, worn by actress Vivien Leigh in her role as Scarlett O’Hara. It’s believed that only seven costumes Leigh wore in “Gone with the Wind” survived to this day. The Bengaline gown is the only piece on display for the public. The man behind this incredible collection is Dr. Christopher Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan watched “Gone with the Wind” for the first time in sixth grade, and he’s collected memorabilia ever since. His grand collection was originally a traveling exhibit before Dr. Sullivan found a permanent home for the collection in Marietta. This is appropriate, considering “Gone with the Wind” played a big part in cementing a certain version of antebellum Atlanta for generations of Americans. Originally housed in the Old Thomas Warehouse Building, this celebration of a pop culture icon relocated to the Historic Brumby Hall in 2018, where it remains open to the public. Visit GwtwMarietta.com for hours of operation and admission rates.
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