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DAI’s ‘Diana’ exhibit celebrates the 20th century icon

 
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Amy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:35 am    Post subject: DAI’s ‘Diana’ exhibit celebrates the 20th century icon Reply with quote

DAI’s ‘Diana’ exhibit celebrates the 20th century icon
Lauren Caggiano
Staff Writer

Mother. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Humanitarian. Princess.

The world knew her many titles. However, Princess Diana was too humble to flaunt all the pomp and circumstance that came with her title as Princess of Wales.

To many, she was the “People’s Princess,” a woman with a glistening smile and gentle spirit. “Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty,” to her brother Charles Spencer.

The Dayton Art Institute’s (DAI) current exhibition, “Diana, A Celebration,” is a tribute to this 20th century icon.

The exhibition boasts about 150 objects, categorized into the various phases of her life, from childhood to her tragic death. Nine galleries capture the essence of her life: “Tiara,” “The Spencer Women,” “Childhood,” “Engagement,” “Royal Wedding,” “Charity,” “Tribute,” “Style” and “Condolence.”

“Diana, A Celebration, allows visitors to share in the milestones of her many roles: as a youngster, schoolgirl and athlete; as the shy kindergarten teacher who captured the hearts of the world; as the young and ravishing bride; as an icon of fashion and style; as the devoted mother, sister and daughter; and as the tireless charity advocate and spokeswoman,” said a recent press release.

Starting the exhibit is “Tiara,” the introductory gallery, welcoming visitors with a stunning 19th century tiara. Next is “The Spencer Women” gallery which includes portraits of these women and other priceless jewelry they wore.

The “Childhood” gallery captures Diana’s free spirit through personal items such as family photos, her passport, letters written home, childhood toys and her school uniform. A home video shown features a spunky childhood Diana acting for the camera.

“Engagement” offers a glimpse at a happy time in the young princess’s life. Photos of her and Prince Charles’ courtship and Diana’s official engagement portrait are highlights of this gallery.

Perhaps the highlight of all the galleries is the “Royal Wedding.” Footage of the wedding is played in the background while visitors can see the much-anticipated wedding gown with its 25-foot train, her shoes, parasol and bridesmaid's dress on display.

The “Charity” room reveals Diana’s humanitarian side. Diana did charitable work for several causes, including HIV/AIDS awareness, the homeless and a campaign to ban land mines. The exhibit showcases her letters endorsing such causes. To many, Diana’s work was an example of her genuine warmth and compassion.

August 31, 1997 was a sad day for Diana’s admirers. The “Condolence” gallery is a memorial of Diana’s tragic death. This gallery contains thousands of tribute letters from around the world, as well as selections from the over 30,000 books received, containing over one million messages of sympathy.

The “Tribute” gallery has a more gloomy tone to it. The funeral program, her brother’s eulogy and the musical score and lyrics of Elton John’s rewritten tribute song, “Candle in the Wind,” are among the artifacts. A sign on the wall sums up the essence of her funeral: “a unique funeral for a unique person.”

The mood lightens, however, when continuing on to the style gallery. Visitors can marvel at 28 dresses from the early 1980’s through her last public appearance, as well as photographs of the Princess wearing the designer ware.

Many visitors and staff have raved about the quality of the exhibit.

“[The exhibition] shows what an elegant, strong person she is,” said DAI gift shop saleswoman Angela Greco. She then added that the public could learn a great deal about the princess’s life.

“There are so many things that everyone can’t know,” she said.

Furthermore, she commented on the exhibition’s broadness of coverage. [The exhibit] “shows both sides of her life, from her whimsical childhood to her elegance as a princess.” In addition, it is a testimony to her image of femininity and strength.

“Diana, A Celebration” is on loan from the Althorp Estate, the Spencer family’s 500-year-old ancestral home. In addition to being on display in England, the exhibit has traveled to Japan, Toronto and Florida. The collection is on display until June 11. This is the first visit the “Diana” exhibit has made to the Midwest. Tickets are a little pricey but it’s definitely worth the trip. For students it’s $16.50, $21 with the audio guide. Don’t miss this great opportunity to see first hand the legacy of the late great Diana.
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Diana, Princess of Wales is and always will be The People's Princess.
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Ronsgal
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Joined: 21 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is thjis exhibit run by the Spencer family? i didnt' quite get that. I take back what i posted earlier in this forum about the Spencer family using the late Diana's legacy for money!

i wish i could see the exhibit but im not going anywhere for a long time, eh i'm broke Very Happy
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