When Art Imitates Life and Life Imitates Art
Collecting Celebrity Memorabilia
The market for the collection of celebrity memorabilia whether in the form of film posters, film set props, autographs, photographic images, costumes, scripts and ephemera is a continuously growing field and has occupied the auction market for several decades.
As with most areas of collecting, the novice collector can be confronted with a number of issues in attempting to accumulate material. A complete discussion of this field would occupy far too much space here, however a few aspects are worth note.
Perhaps the greatest is authenticity whether in signatures by celebrities often signed by autopen or secretary on photographs as well as objects used in notable films. A review of auction websites such as liveauctioneers.com
denotes multiple objects sold having been used in films.
However these objects may not have been used by the actor in a specific scene and were simply present on the set. The value difference in a whip actually used by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and retained by him after filming is immense versus another whip present during filming but never used. Similarly the fabled ruby sequin shoes worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz of which at least 6 pairs were manufactured have brought differing hammer results at auction based on condition and interest at the time of sale.
The image below is of Pam Grier one of the most notable American cult film stars first active in the 1970s and still active today. The image by noted artist Juanita (Jen Kenworth) depicts Grier in her role in the 1973 film Scream Blacula Scream and is based on a film still. The artist has executed numerous private and public commissions and can be reached through her website www.jenniferkenworth.com
This image was commissioned from the artist and falls into the realm of film and celebrity collecting as a comemmoration of Grier’s work and her iconic status among cult film affciandos.
It is an excellent example of art imitating life!