Curate My Life: Classic Film

Classic film books

I know, I know. It’s been an age since I’ve updated this website. Completely my fault. Sorry.

It’s not that nothing has happened in the past year and a half (a lot has! I’ve put together a separate post about it!). It’s just that, for one reason or another, I haven’t had time – or motivation to blog much. But this changed when my friend Margaret Perry posted on Twitter about a project she is doing with her classmates at the University of York called #CurateMyLife. The objective, she explains, is to “connect the public with a sense of heritage and to see how their lives contribute to our understanding of culture.” The topic through which she has invited participants to share their personal sense of heritage is classic film. Fun, right?

Unfortunately, I’m not able to tick off every box as the majority of my classic film collection is back in California with my parents. (I moved back to London last September for a Museum Studies course and am set to stay long-term – more on that in the next post!) But here are some photos of things I do have with me, as well as a few unforgettable classic film-related memories.

Classic film-related household object

scarlett o'hara mugThis is literally the only household object relating to classic film that is in my flat. It’s a tea mug with a lovely Disneyfied illustration of Scarlett O’Hara, created by Alejandro Mogollo. He’s a wonderful artist and sells a range of products depicting everyone from Barbra Streisand to Ava Gardner to Marilyn Monroe. Check out his shop and get one for yourself!

Picture of me and friends enjoying a classic film experience

memombooklaunchMama Bean and I at the launch for Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait. London, 2013.booklaunchpartySome of my favorite people in the world at the launch for Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait. London, 2013.mejilltcmBoobs and buttons. How many pieces of flair did you collect? With HBIC Jill Blake in line for Gunga Din at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, 2015.amymetcmWith my BFF Amy who I’ve known since the 6th grade. TCM Classic Film Festival, 2015.judymejennyMy amazing boss, Jenny Abbe (right) and former neighbor Judy (left) threw me a going away/book signing party last summer in Redding, CA. I miss them very much!

Selfie with TCM’s Robert Osborne

Kendra and Robert OsborneGone With the Wind 70th anniversary celebration. Marietta, Georgia, 2009.

Classic film book collection

Classic film book collectionClassic film book collectioncuratemylife2 curatemylife3

Favorite movie star biography

intimateportraitI hear this one is pretty good.


curatemylife8 curatemylife7I’m currently co-authoring an illustrated biography on Ava Gardner which will be published by Running Press in 2017. Part of the process has been collecting original photographs. These are just a few examples of what we have found so far.

curatemylife10 curatemylife9My main subject for collection is Vivien Leigh. I collect mainly paper goods – original photos and magazines and have been doing so since 2004.

curatemylifeThe current view of my desk. Tea: check. Ava Gardner biographies: check. Folders and notebooks full of notes and articles: check. British Newspaper Archive: check. Yep, it’s an Ava writing day.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my personal world of classic films. Until next time!

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2 thoughts on “Curate My Life: Classic Film”

  1. Irene says:

    Great collection (even only what you have brought over)
    PS: Is the British Newspaper Archive any good? I’ve searched for articles on their site, to see if it’s worth subscribing, and most of the results looked like advertisements, by the number of words and look on the page, although I had checked “articles” in my search.

    1. kendra says:

      The British Newspaper Archive is an ongoing digitization project so they’re still working on it and adding new papers all the time. What is up now is mostly regional newspapers instead of the big ones like the Guardian or Times. But so far I’ve found it useful for Ava research.

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