Recently when a friend was in town, we visited the Gone With The Wind Museumin Marietta, Georgia. The museum opened in June 2002 inside a former cotton warehouse and carriage stable that dates back to 1875.Many of the collectibles found inside the museum belong to Dr. Christopher Sullivan, a physician from Akron, Ohio.
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Dr. Sullivan read the book, Gone With The Wind, and saw the movie as a child. He enjoyed it so much, he began collecting memorabilia from the movie. His extensive collection has been displayed in various places over the years but it now has a permanent home in Marietta where fans of the book/movie visit from all over the world.
The movie, Gone With The Wind, starring Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, is an “American epic historical romance film” per Wikipedia. The movie premiered in Atlanta at Loew’s Grand in 1939, having been adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name.
Photo from Wikipedia and in Public Domain
I know this is going to sound a little weird since I was born and raised right her in Georgia, but I was never really a fan of the movie. I had heard about it my whole life but didn’t see it until I was grown when it came out in the theaters again.I disliked the character of Scarlett so much, it kind of ruined the movie for me.
I did very much enjoy the museum tour, though. It was great getting to see all the memorabilia and beautiful dresses from the movie and I would recommend this tour to anyone who is even slightly curious.
There could not be a better place for viewing this amazing collection than in thisbuilding.The minute you walk through the door, you know this isn’t going to be your typical “museum” tour. During the tour, you’re surrounded by exposed brick, 1875 original wood flooring and wonderful, old rough-hew beams overhead. It really feels like another world, like you’ve been transported back in a Gone With The Wind time machine. Thecollection definitely makes a bigger impact here than it would inside some sterile, 21st century building.
As we walked through the double doors to enter the building, we saw this on the door leading into the museum.
This now famous image was featured back in the day on the posters advertising the movie.It’s such an iconic scene and poster that it’s often referred to as to as the “flaming embrace” poster. I haven’t seen the movie in ages so I can’t remember exactly what scene it’s from, but it depicts Atlanta burning in the background as Rhett carries Scarlett away to safety. It’s romantic, scary and sad–all at the same time.
Update: It appears this may not be an actual scene from the movie, but a compilation of Rhett and Scarlet superimposed in front of Atlanta in flames, as an advertisement for the movie.
Further inside the museum were t-shirts that were available to purchase. There were many additional items for sale in the small gift shop area toward the end of the tour.
In addition to some of the true collectibles and artifacts from the movie, there were several reproduction dresses. My favorite part of the tour were the dresses and costumes from the movie. This dress is a reproduction of the dress Scarlett was wearing in the first scene where the boys are all fawning over her and begging her to add them to her dance card for an upcoming party.
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I’ve read stories about people traveling to Atlanta in search of the real Tara only to find it doesn’t actually exist. The set for Tara was believed to have been built based on someof thehomes here in Georgia. I can totally see that because there are a lot of homes in Georgia, especially in some of the smaller towns you pass through when taking the backroads, that look very much like Tara. The Greek Revival style was very popular in Georgia from the 1840s to the 1860s. Per THIS article, it became the first architectural style to appear state-wide across Georgia.
I didn’t remember Tara having attachments or dependents on either side as we see here in the model. It’s been ages since I saw the movie. Do you remember those?
I think my favorite dress in the movie was this one shown here in reproduction. Scarlett wore it in the infamous scene where she’s getting dressed for a barbecue. If you search for “Gone With The Wind” on YouTube, you’ll find lots of scenes featured there, including the one where Scarlett puts on this dress. It’s the scene where we learn that women are never supposed to show their bosom before 3 pm.