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New Acquisitions for April 2013: Patti Starr and Jean Idelle

The museum acquired some really lovely pieces in April from two Legends: Patti Starr and Jean Idelle.

In March, we paid a visit to Patti Starr in her Arizona home where we recorded an interview and goggled at her adventures. Now in her 90s, Starr has led an amazing life and wanted the museum to have her collection so her stories become part of history. She donated 3 pairs of shoes, 5 pairs of earrings, a pearl-bead bracelet with an AMAZING matching necklace, a beaded and embroidered stage gown (we’ve included a close-up so you can get a sense of the detail on the dress), and the black hat that was her signature during her performing years.

The Rialto Theater in ChicagoThanks to her son, Lamont Holiday, we also acquired a gorgeous blue sequined dress worn by Jean Idelle onstage at Minsky’s Rialto Theater in Chicago in 1952. The piece will be on display in the museum as part of our upcoming exhibition on performers of color, Not-So-Hidden Histories, so we’re not going to show it here — you’ll have to come and see it in person! But here’s a little tease…



Jean Idelle dress - detail


For more information about how you can donate pieces from your collection to the museum, please visit our Donate Artifacts page.

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