An exhibition celebrating the life of one of Britain’s most iconic actresses, Vivien Leigh.
This is the first major display of Leigh's private archive, which was acquired by the V&A in 2013 from her family. On display around the 13-bedroom National Trust property are highlights from the 10,000 item collection – including photographs, annotated film scripts, costume sketches, letters, film posters and scrapbooks.
A central theme of the exhibition is Leigh’s life with husband Laurence Olivier, who she fell in love with while filming Fire over England in 1937. As well as charting the Australian tour they took together and their joint performances at the Stratford Memorial Theatre, it also contains their private photographs and love letters.
Objects from their home at Notley Abbey are a particular highlight; the couple adored hosting lavish parties and on display is their guestbook featuring the signatures of Noël Coward, Orson Wells, Terrence Rattigan and Katharine Hepburn.
Costumery being shown at Treasurer's House includes the red Christian Dior gown Leigh wore in Duel of Angels and the headdress from her role as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
After its showing in York, the exhibition will embark on a national and international tour.