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DIANA, A CELEBRATION
DIANA, A CELEBRATION presents the life and humanitarian work of one of the most remarkable women of the 20th century. Visitors will get a rare inside look at the late princess’s public and private life through nearly 150 objects, including her 1981 Royal Wedding gown, 28 designer dresses and gowns, family heirlooms, personal mementos, paintings, and rare home movies and photos.
This exhibition was brought to Dayton through the support of National City and is produced by Ohio-based Arts & Exhibitions International (AEI) LLC.
DIANA, A CELEBRATION is on loan from the Althorp Estate, the Spencer Family’s 500-year-old ancestral home in England. The Dayton engagement is the exhibition’s sixth stop on an international tour – but first in the Midwestern U.S. The Dayton Art Institute is the final U.S. engagement for DIANA, A CELEBRATION.
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, ravishing royal bride; as an icon of fashion and style; as the devoted mother, sister and daughter; and as the tireless charity advocate and spokeswoman.
The exhibition tells the story of Diana through nine galleries: Tiara; The Spencer Women; Childhood; Engagement; Royal Wedding; Charity; Tribute; Style; and Condolence. The centerpiece of DIANA, A CELEBRATION is the glorious, show-stopping Royal Wedding gallery, featuring Diana’s resplendent gown from her 1981 marriage to Prince Charles, along with her diamond tiara, veil, 25-foot-long train, shoes, parasol and bridesmaid’s dress.
Other major highlights of the exhibition include:
- 28 dresses, suits and evening gowns by such noted designers as Versace, Azagury, Valentino, and Chanel
- Two diamond tiaras and other priceless family jewels
- The original hand-edited text of Charles Spencer’s moving tribute to his sister that he delivered at Diana’s funeral in Westminster Abbey
- The musical score and handwritten lyrics of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin composition dedicated to Diana and adapted from Candle in the Wind
- Home movies, childhood photographs and personal correspondence
- 17th and 18th century paintings from Diana’s ancestral home, Althorp Estate
One entire section of the exhibition is devoted to Diana’s energetic, multi-faceted public life and her involvement in myriad charities and causes, including pioneering efforts for those afflicted by AIDS, the care of the homeless, and the tragic consequences of the unregulated use of land mines. A three-screen video presentation highlights the hundreds of associations that continue to benefit from her patronage and energetic dedication. The outpouring of grief at her untimely death is also addressed in a display of books of condolence and a space for reflection and remembrance.
Since the exhibition opened in 1998, the objects have made their permanent home in England at Althorp, and have toured to Japan, Toronto, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, and Houston. The exhibition at Althorp has generated approximately $2 million for charities supported by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.