Joined: 13 Feb 2006
|Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:42 pm Post subject: Celebrating Diana
Exhibit on Princess of Wales stops at Dayton Art Institute
MATT MULCAHEY | CIN WEEKLY CONTRIBUTOR
The Tiara Gallery features a diamond and gold tiara and highlighted by a portrait by Patrick Demarchelle.
JUST THE FACTS
WHAT: Diana, A Celebration
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday. Runs through June 11.
WHERE: Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton
PRICE: $18.50, $16.50 for seniors and students with ID, $9.50 ages 7-18 and free ages 6 and under.
PARKING: Free parking lot next to the museum. Additional parking can be found on the street in surrounding neighborhoods.
CONTACT: (800) 296-4426 or www.daytonartinstitute.org.
Drive time from downtown Cincinnati is about 1 hour.
• Take I-75 to the First Street/Salem Avenue exit (53B).
• Go straight at the light toward the Dayton View Bridge.
• Go one block, turn left on Monument Street and cross the bridge.
• At the first light, go right on Riverview Avenue.
• Proceed one block and turn left, up the hill, onto Belmonte Park North. The Dayton Art Institute and parking are on the right.
WHILE YOU'RE THERE
The Dayton Art Institute's on-site lunch spot offers a special afternoon tea in conjunction with the Diana, A Celebration exhibit. The package includes an assortment of fresh tea, sandwiches, scones and pastries for $12.50. The afternoon tea is served from 2:30 to 4 p.m. daily. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Café Monet offers soups, salads and sandwiches.
In addition to the museum's permanent gift shop, which offers the usual array of art books, posters and toys, a second shop of Diana-related merchandise is currently open. The shop includes jewelry, china and other collectibles ranging in price from the $9 Althorp English Breakfast Tea to the $199 Fine Bone China Commemorative Plate.
The Dayton Art Institute's permanent collection, which includes Asian, African and Native American art, can be viewed free of charge.
A childhood gallery includes family photo albums of the future princess as a teenager in ballet poses.
This purple evening dress, made of silk crepe by Gianni Versace, was part of a trip to Chicago in 1996.
There was a whole area of Diana's Kensington Palace apartments devoted to the soft toys of her childhood, like this gingham frog.
When Diana Spencer and Prince Charles got engaged in 1981, Diana was a 19-year-old kindergarten teaching assistant unknown to the world beyond Britain's shores.
But after her death in an August 1997 auto accident, more than 2.5 billion devoted fans tuned in to the televised funeral to mourn the life of one of the century's most beloved women.
Nearly a decade after her passing, the global fascination with Diana, Princess of Wales, continues. However, only a select few Diana devotees will ever get the opportunity currently available in our region.
A collection of 150 objects from the life of the public icon and humanitarian, Diana, A Celebration is now on exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute. The exhibition's stop in Dayton marks the collection's sixth and final showing outside its permanent residence at Diana's ancestral home at Althorp Estate in Northamptonshire, England.
AN INTIMATE LOOK
ning Diana's various roles as daughter and wife, humanitarian and fashion icon, the exhibit traces the life of the princess through a series of nine galleries. These galleries, broken down into categories including childhood, charity and style, include personal items such as home movies, the hand-written lyrics of Bernie Taupin/Elton John's tribute song and selections from the more than 30,000 books worth of condolences that arrived in the wake of Diana's death.
Despite the presence of such intimate items, Diana, A Celebration is more than a collection of relics from a life lived in the public eye aimed strictly at Diana devotees.
The Spencer family tiara, which opens the exhibit, and the show's style gallery, which contains 28 elegant dresses designed by the likes of Versace, Valentino and Chanel, place the exhibition in the realm of art.
"I have to admit I was not a believer before seeing the exhibit. Diana meant very little in the pantheon of important things in my life," says Dayton Art Institute director Alex Nyerges. "But when I went to see the show's (U.S. debut) in Ft. Lauderdale, I was absolutely wowed. It's stunningly beautiful. It is a great tribute to Diana, and it's an absolutely gorgeous exhibit of fine art."
Diana, A Celebration's appeal to both connoisseurs of beauty and fans of the princess herself come together in the exhibition's centerpiece, the Royal Wedding gallery.
The gallery includes what Nyerges calls "the most famous wedding dress in the world," in addition to a 25-foot train, diamond tiara and bridesmaids' dress from Diana's July 1981 nuptials.
During Diana, A Celebration's five previous stops (Japan, Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale, St. Petersburg and Houston), more than 80 percent of the exhibition's viewers have been women. That isn't surprising, considering the collection of tiaras, wedding gowns and Versace dresses might seem within the same realm of manliness as watching Olympic figure skating while listening to Celine Dion records and crocheting booties.
But Nyerges hopes that the show's stop in Dayton will reverse that female-centric trend because, he jokes, "men in Ohio are smarter."
"We need to put out a call to all men - just giving that special woman in your life tickets to come see the show isn't good enough," Nyerges says. "They need to see it with them, because this is one of those experiences you need to share."
Diana, Princess of Wales is and always will be The People's Princess.