THE VIVIEN LEIGH COLLECTION
Haynes Fine Art,
70 Pimlico Road,
Exhibition Dates: 12 - 31 March 2018 | Monday to Friday 10am - 6pm | Saturday 10am - 5pm | Other times by appointment
Hollywood icon and star of one of the most beloved films of all time, Vivien Leigh captured hearts and minds with her performance as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind in 1939. Haynes Fine Art are shining a spotlight on Vivien Leigh by sharing a glimpse of the esteemed actress’s private life through a collection they have assembled as a complete room setting which includes paintings, furniture, rugs and associated memorabilia.
THE VIVIEN LEIGH COLLECTION
Whilst Tony Haynes was viewing paintings in the Sotheby’s ‘Vivien Leigh’ sale he had a chat with the auctioneers who stated they had phone lines booked with dealers and collectors from over forty countries worldwide. It seemed a shame that this wonderful collection was going to be broken up and scattered, fated to become token parts of dealers stock or, in time, forgotten pieces in passed down collections. With this, Emma Haynes set about a plan to assemble a bespoke room set from the key pieces available to buy.
Most of the furnishings available were purchased for or taken to Notley Abbey, near Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire, home to Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier (undoubtedly Britain’s most glamorous and enigmatic film couple). Notley Abbey was one of the largest and richest Augustinian monasteries in Oxfordshire; a worthy venue for Hollywood royalty.
Vivien Leigh, star of Gone with the Wind, and her husband Laurence Olivier bought the majestic medieval abbey during the war after a bombing raid on their home in the city. Vivien and Laurence stayed here until 1960. During their residence the couple were known for holding many lavish parties at the house. It was also used for the filming of several movies, most of which would have featured some of their furnishings.
Using photographs we have recreated the collection as we believe they would have assembled it. With exquisite fine furniture, notable works of fine art and beautiful personal effects, we have built a film-like set to display the ephemera especially for you to come and enjoy. Alongside the collection are details from the letters of provenance and captivating images showing the furniture in its original home.
Among the collection is a drawing in the style of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec made for Miss Leigh in 1953 by an artist friend, John Klimo. The thank you note she sent him by return reads “How could you know that this is my favourite Lautrec poster: in fact, I have a copy at home and have always thought what fun it would be if and when Sir Laurence and I go to a fancy dress ball we should appear as these two characters.”
It will be the first time the collection has been put on show in our London Gallery after a careful restoration programme. We do hope you can join us for what promises to be a rewarding experience and one which will be remembered by us all for years to come.