Tales of love letters and scrapple: New exhibit to remember Grace Kelly as a hometown girl who never forgot her Philadelphia roots
- The exhibit will make its only U.S. stop at the Michener Art Museum in suburban Doylestown, not far from where Kelly made her professional stage debut at the Bucks County Playhouse in 1949
- The items on display will detail the late star's upbringing, Hollywood career and storybook ascent to royalty
Hometown girl: An exhibit on Grace Kelly's upbringing, Hollywood career and storybook ascent to royalty opens October 28, 2013 at the Michener Art Museum in suburban Doylestown, Philadelphia (pictured Monaco, 1959)
'She never lost touch with her family and the Philadelphians that she grew up with,' said Kelly's nephew Christopher Le Vine, who recalled his aunt packing up some Philadelphia scrapple — a love-it-or-hate-it loaf of pork scraps and cornmeal — to bring back to Monaco so the palace chef could re-create the humble dish.
'She was going to tell him that it was a certain special pate from Philadelphia ... for petit dejeuner (breakfast),' Le Vine told the laughing crowd. 'She had her Philadelphia roots with her wherever she went.'
In color: A stunning photo of the princess from a 1954 issue of Time magazine will be on show
Fairytale moment: Kelly pictured in Philadelphia in January 1956 showing her engagement ring to her parents while her fiance, Prince Rainier III of Monaco looks on
From movie star to royalty: Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III sit at their civil marriage ceremony in the throne room at the Princely Palace of Monaco, on April 18, 1956
The exhibit opens Oct. 28 at the James A Michener Art Museum in suburban Doylestown, not far from where Kelly made her professional stage debut at the Bucks County Playhouse in 1949.
On view will be personal photos, love letters from her husband Prince Rainier of Monaco, her 1954 best actress Academy Award for 'The Country Girl,' film clips and home movies, as well as iconic fashions from gowns and the Yves Saint Laurent 'Mondrian' dress to the Hermes 'Kelly' bag she made famous.
Another stunning color photo on show depicts Kelly in a 1954 issue of Time magazine.
Monaco's ruling sovereign, Prince Albert II, said in video-recorded remarks his mother 'was indeed a talented woman who became an international fashion icon but that is just the surface of her life.'
Wedding day: Kelly looks out from behind a satin veil in her elaborate wedding dress
Celebration: The newly married couple walk in the Gallery of Hercules in the Princely Palace of Monaco, following the official exchange of their marriage vows
Entourage: Princess Grace poses with her maids of honor before the religious ceremony
Royal banquet: The newlyweds eat lunch after the religious matrimonial ceremony in the Court of Honor, with their towering wedding cake in the background
'Those of us who were fortunate enough to know my mother, her family and friends, knew her to be a genuine, warm and loving woman — a woman who always put her family first,' he said.
'I hope that through experiencing this exhibition you will be able to get a glimpse of the real Grace Kelly, the woman behind the icon, my mother.'
Monegasques appreciate their late princess, who died in 1982 in a car crash in Monaco, less as a screen legend and more as a humanitarian and philanthropist responsible for making Monaco a vibrant arts center and protecting the rights of vulnerable children, said Maguy Maccario Doyle, consul general of Monaco in New York.
Glamorous: Six years after the wedding, Kelly (pictured at the Princely Palace of Monaco in 1962) looks every inch the star in a head scarf and fashionable spectacles
Oscar-winner: On view will be Kelly's 1954 best actress Academy Award The Country Girl
Screen beauty: Kelly seen with Cary Grant in 1955 movie To Catch a Thief
'There are many places in Monaco that today remind us of her presence,' she said.
'Her memory endures, and certainly the principality of Monaco will forever bear the imprint of her presence and the heartache of her absence.'
From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly - Beyond the Icon opens at the Michener Art Museum on October 28th