Holiday Greetings from the Ava Gardner Museum staff and board of directors! As we wind down our two-year celebration of Ava’s 100th birthday, we want to revisit some highlights with all of you.

Ava 100 coconut cakeAva Gardner Festival attendees and board members

Ava 100 Highlights
The Ava Gardner Festivals of 2022 and 2023, which served as our official celebration of “Ava 100”, were well-attended and brought together a remarkable gathering of family, friends, fans, and supporters who are truly part of the AGM family. Many people came for both festivals, and a great time was had by all! Special guests included Victoria Price, James Kelly, Annette Bochenek, Dominique Benedict, Ava Thompson, John Arthur Greene, Jonathan Levin, and Angelique Alexander, plus countless Ava fans from all over the world. From a concert featuring songs from Ava’s films to an exhibit of re-created costumes from her role in Show Boat, we honored Ava’s memory and celebrated her legacy of independence, generosity, loyalty, and authenticity.

The Great Sinner costume

As part of the Ava 100 celebration, we have been privileged to have on loan many one-of-a-kind, rarely seen artifacts in our Collections Showcase exhibit. I encourage you all to come to see this exhibit in person. These artifacts are privately owned and will only be at the AGM for a limited time. Most of our visitors especially enjoy seeing Ava’s costumes, and we have two on loan and currently on display. Don’t miss your chance to see these costumes from The Great Sinner and Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, plus all the other special artifacts in our Collections Showcase!

Show Boat reproduction plaid dress

We are also excited about our newest exhibit featuring costume re-creations from world-renowned costumier, James Kelly. James has painstakingly re-created three costumes from Show Boat, two of which are Ava’s costumes from her role as Julie LaVerne, and one from Kathryn Grayson’s character, Magnolia Hawks. These iconic costumes have been lost somewhere in the years since the 1951 movie was filmed in Mississippi and California, but you would never know it by looking at the detail and skill that James applied to his work. They truly look like the real thing, even to the discerning eye of the Ava fans in attendance at the 2023 festival.

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We have enjoyed interacting with many Ava fans and sharing their experiences with you through our Ava Chats and guest blogs. Just these past few months we have had great conversations with Debi Mazar, Anthony Uzarowski, Annette Bochenek, Dominique Benedict, Victoria Price, and James Kelly, along with an in-depth conversation with our Director Lynell Seabold, Honorary Board Member Lora Stocker, and Collections Manager Beth Nevarez.  If you haven’t caught up with our Ava Chats, go to our YouTube channel here to watch. As a gift to you, all of the Ava Chats episodes are now free.

We have also been able to share some special guest blog posts on our blog at Dominique Benedict of Breakfast at Dominique’s writes about the creation of the Ava Gardner Goddess Blend coffee, and her experiences attending the Ava Gardner Festival. Daniela shared a blog about Ava's life in Madrid, where Daniela had the opportunity to follow in Ava’s footsteps and see many of her favorite places. Our latest blog is by Rebecca Monet, who writes a heartfelt letter to Ava, expressing her thoughts and feelings about the festival (which she attended both years) and about Ava herself.

Ava Gardner ornament graphic

And don’t forget to check out our gift shop, either online or at the AGM. We have some great new merchandise available. From t-shirts to jewelry to ornaments, and more, we can help you find the perfect gift for the Ava fan in your life, plus a little something for you too! And don’t miss your last chance to purchase Ava 100 merchandise, it’s all on sale now and when it’s gone, it’s gone!

We continue to share Ava’s story and promote her legacy through interviews with travel writers, bloggers, and local and national reporters. If you or someone you know would like us to appear on your podcast or schedule an interview, please contact us through email at

Our friends at the Ava Gardner Trust have launched a new website about Ava and the work of the Trust. You can check it out here:

Lynell Seabold standing on Ava Gardner's former porch in Nichols Canyon.

From the Director
As I wind down my time as your Director, I find myself feeling a myriad of emotions. I have truly enjoyed the connections made between the museum staff & board and the fantastic Ava fans all over the world who support our mission and share our love for Ava Gardner and her remarkable life. I am grateful for the friendships I have formed with so many of you, and I am proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish over the last (almost) 7 years: the mural and rose garden; the Ava 100 celebrations; getting through the pandemic, and then a water leak and resulting repairs just a few months later; increasing our social media reach by leaps and bounds; obtaining priceless artifacts on loan; making many strategic acquisitions to enhance the collection; launching a new website; expanding the gift shop offerings; securing several grants, including our very first IMLS grant, which has allowed us to institute the Collections Management Project, one of the most important projects we’ve ever undertaken; and reaching out to, and connecting with, people who knew Ava and shared their memories with us in our ‘Ava Memories Project.’ And, of course, I’ll never forget the absolute thrill of spending the weekend in Ava’s first home in the Hollywood Hills! When I took over as director in Feb 2017, it was a very different museum. I am proud to say that we have grown, thrived, and are stronger than ever, thanks to a team of hard-working and dedicated individuals who have put their heart and soul into the success of the Ava Gardner Museum. I thank you all for your support, your guidance, your passion, and your commitment.

I’m not going away completely; I will still be working behind the scenes, like so many others, to continue our mission and keep the momentum going. And I expect to see you all at the next Ava Festival!

To hear more about Lynell’s reflections on her time as Director watch our Ava Chats episode featuring her here.

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Support the Museum
In closing, we would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to all of our visitors, followers, and especially our Ava Advocates, several of whom have been Advocates for many years, and many who have joined our mission in the last couple of years. It is thanks to your continued support that we can showcase and protect our extensive collection as well as educate the public about Ava Gardner’s remarkable life and career. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

We hope you and yours are well and everyone has a wonderful 2024! You can contact the Museum by calling 919-934-5830 or e-mail us at Please stay connected with us for the latest updates on our social media, blog, and website. Follow along with us as we share our extensive collection with you and explore new ways to present Ava’s remarkable life and legacy to her fans around the world.