Our Mission

    Ava Costume Exhibit at the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC.The mission of the Ava Gardner Museum is one of curatorial preservation and historical interpretation. Our unique collection spans Ava’s entire life, from her humble beginnings in rural North Carolina to her relaxed final years in London. Our vast repository of Ava’s personal and professional artifacts includes photographs, jewelry, costumes, memorabilia, papers, ephemera, and much more.

    Our expert staff and dedicated board members work closely with the Gardner family to accurately translate the many facets of Ava into state-of-the-art exhibitions and informative digital offerings. As a result of these efforts, we are the definitive resource for illuminating the world to the remarkable life and lasting legacy of Ava Gardner.


    We have great news!

    The Killers Exhibit at the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC.The Ava Gardner Museum received an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant and additional funds from the Johnston County Visitors Bureau for a collections stewardship and public access project that will enable us to improve preservation of and access to our collection of Ava Gardner artifacts. 

    Working on the collection has been an ongoing project and the Museum Board is excited to see progress through grants and donations to the museum.



    Logo for the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC.




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