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Ava Gardner Museum

325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
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Hidden Gem!

Go to Smithfield to explore this museum! The Ava Gardner Museum is will curated. The costumes and... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
LeslieReviews
,
Hilton Head, South Carolina
MOVIE HISTORY

This is a fantastic touch of our American Movie history. She was a beautiful, talented lady from a... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Clyde G
,
Smithfield, North Carolina
Read all 144 reviews
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The Ava Gardner Museum, one of North Carolina’s most remarkable attractions, honors the life, loves, and legacy of one of Hollywood’s most glamorous leading ladies. It’s here that you will see personal interviews and get the real story from those that knew her best.Discover the real Ava Gardner as you take the self-guided tour through more than 5,000 square-feet of exhibit space. You’ll see extraordinary costumes, movie posters and awards that represent Ava’s 50-year career as a leading Hollywood actress. The Museum also houses a collection of personal items of china, jewelry, clothing and fine art, including 40 portraits by Bert Pfeiffer, an artist whose collection was donated to the museum in 2001. The tour also includes a screening of a short biography of Ava that features information about her life in Johnston County and commentary by those who knew her best, including family members, childhood friends, co-stars, and even one of her husbands, Mickey Rooney.Get to know the people who played important roles in Ava’s life. Her circle of close friends included celebrities such as Gregory Peck, Grace Kelly, Ernest Hemingway and Howard Hughes. You’ll also learn about her marriages, which were even bigger news than her films. View artifacts that belonged to her third and final husband, Frank Sinatra, whom she considered the love of her life.
  • Excellent70%
  • Very good26%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“minute film” (13 reviews)
“frank sinatra” (13 reviews)
“movie posters” (6 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION
325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
CONTACT
Website
+1 919-934-5830
Write a ReviewReviews (144)
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"minute film"
in 13 reviews
"frank sinatra"
in 13 reviews
"movie posters"
in 6 reviews
"personal items"
in 6 reviews
"interesting life"
in 2 reviews
"her parents"
in 3 reviews
"early life"
in 3 reviews
"grave site"
in 3 reviews
"memorabilia including"
in 2 reviews
"treasure trove"
in 3 reviews
"personal effects"
in 3 reviews
"lots of pictures"
in 3 reviews
"north carolina"
in 10 reviews
"downtown smithfield"
in 9 reviews
"grew up"
in 4 reviews
"introductory video"
in 2 reviews
"on display"
in 7 reviews
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1 - 10 of 144 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

Go to Smithfield to explore this museum! The Ava Gardner Museum is will curated. The costumes and memorabilia collection is of the quality of a Smithsonian exhibit. The exciting thing about this museum is it is located in the small town that was the heart...More

Thank LeslieReviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VisitSmithfieldNC, Ava Gardner Museum Board Member at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 6 days ago

Thanks so much for the wonderful review -- we hope you signed up for our newsletter. We do change out the main exhibit cases and hold special events at the museum throughout the year if you are in Smithfield again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a fantastic touch of our American Movie history. She was a beautiful, talented lady from a small town. She became well known world wide and has brought many visitors to this town with her history and examples of her life.

Thank Clyde G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Very nicely presentation. Information was enlightening. Did not realize Ava came from NC to become such an international star. Beautiful little museum!

Thank Robin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We've been seeing the sign for the Ava Gardner Museum on 95 during trips south for years now and finally planned a visit. So glad we did. It's a very well done labor of love (yet honest depiction) of one of Hollywood's biggest stars. The...More

1  Thank Topics4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2018

This is a very informative look t the life and times of a great movie star. She was a little before my time but now I have a better appreciation of her work. This is a great addition to any trip.

2  Thank det683
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Museum Director at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2018

We are so glad you enjoyed your visit, thank you for the great review! Hope to see you again :)

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Reviewed March 14, 2018

So glad I took the time to visit this fantastic museum! As a native of North Carolina, I grew up hearing about beautiful Ava Gardner...so happy I took the time to drive 2 hours to visit the museum! Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Great short...More

Thank parispls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Manager at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2018

We are so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to the Ava Gardner Museum! We will be changing our current exhibits in May, so come back and see us again. Thank you so much for your support!

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Reviewed February 13, 2018

This museum tucked away in Downtown Smithfield offers a treasure trove of memorabilia from the Hollywood legend and Johnston County native's life and career. There's costumes, personal items as well as exhibits featuring the men in Ava's life including Howard Hughes and Frank Sinatra.

Thank johnmarkivey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2018 via mobile

I loved visited Ava Gardner Museum and discovered that her was the actress in the movie of Hemingway books! I love Hemingway! The Museum is very interesting and is possible watching a documentary about life and career of Ava Gardner! Near the Museum has a...More

Thank Silvane_Romero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Director at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2018

We are so happy you enjoyed your visit! We will be adding a new exhibit in May, so please come visit us again!

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Reviewed January 16, 2018

The museum is small but well laid out with several rooms and display cases. The hostess definitely knew the story of Ava Gardner and was most helpful. There is also a video program that makes her history clear. The displays of various facets of her...More

1  Thank gojusensei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Manager at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2018

Thank you for the wonderful review, we are so glad you enjoyed your visit! I will be sure to let our docent know that you mentioned her, we are very lucky to have such long-term and knowledgeable docents! We change our exhibits each year, so...More

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Reviewed December 26, 2017

Smithfield NC's Ava Gardner Museum is a good way to jump off I-95 and stretch your legs. Inside this museum the visitor can watch a video about the actress's life in addition to costumes that she wore in some of her movies. While this may...More

Thank Madeline103119148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Manager at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2018

Thank you for your review, we appreciate it! We do understand that our museum caters more towards adults, but we do have a little "scavenger hunt" list that we encourage the children who can read to participate in. We hope to see you again! ~Lynell~

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Saliha B
August 31, 2017|
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Response from AmarilisVos | Reviewed this property |
There is discount for military, seniors, teens and children
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Jeanette M
June 25, 2017|
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Response from AllenVirginiaBeach | Reviewed this property |
Open Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm Sunday 2pm - 5pm All you had to do was type in Ava Gardner museum and it gives you the times, just like I did for you. Glad I could do your leg work for you!
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