We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A wonderful surprise”
Review of Ava Gardner Museum

Ava Gardner Museum
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Smithfield
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed July 18, 2014

My husband and I were on a day trip and happened to drive through Smithfield, NC where we drove by the Ava Gardner Museum. Even though she was before our time, we had seen her in a few old movies and decided to tour the museum. What a wonderful surprise in this small town. After paying our admission ($8 for adults and $7 for seniors), we were taken to a room where we watched an 18-minute movie showing the highlights of Ava's life. It was very well put together as was the entire museum. There were lots of pictures, costumes, jewelry, books, posters, etc. A souvenir area offered everything from key rings to jam!

2  Thank SharonB2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (139)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"minute film"
in 12 reviews
"humble beginnings"
in 5 reviews
"movie posters"
in 6 reviews
"personal items"
in 5 reviews
"interesting life"
in 2 reviews
"her parents"
in 3 reviews
"grave site"
in 3 reviews
"memorabilia including"
in 2 reviews
"lots of pictures"
in 3 reviews
"a small gift shop"
in 4 reviews
"personal effects"
in 3 reviews
"grew up"
in 4 reviews
"introductory video"
in 2 reviews
"north carolina"
in 9 reviews
"downtown smithfield"
in 8 reviews
"on display"
in 6 reviews
"movie stars"
in 4 reviews
Filter

85 - 89 of 139 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2014

This was such a wonderful museum to visit. When you enter you are ushered into a room to watch a movie about her and the staff member tells you more about her and some of the artwork that is currently in the room. The video last about 15 min, if you have small children it could be hard for them to sit still. The video was really great, and then as you are walking around seeing her outfits and some of the different artifacts you recognize them from what you just watched. It is not a large museum, but well put together and had a wide variety of things to look at. It was very charming, and worth the drive to get there.

Thank raindrops554
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2014

The Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina, was an unexpected and happy surprise. We spent about two hours there going through an excellent survey of Ava Gardner's life. When we left, we had an very good idea about this unusual actress who came from a poor rural area nearby, rose to stardom in Hollywood, and lived much of her life in Spain and London, eschewing the typical Hollywood scene. She had a robust love life with husbands Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra, as well as affairs with Howard Hughes and a Spanish bullfighter. I had no idea of what an independent and interesting person she was. The museum includes a must-see documentary about her life, posters from her movies, photos, costumes, personal items and an extensive collection of paintings of her. The small gift shop has several of her movies and other memorabilia for sale. All in all, the museum is well worth a stop for a couple of hours.

1  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

We had a great time visiting the Ava Gardener Museum. I would not have expected such a quality museum in such a small town. It is certainly worth your time and the admission fee.

Thank Jimmyhikes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed April 4, 2014 via mobile

A very nice Town to visit. There are local eateries. The Ava Gardner Museum. A lovely Parks just Pass the bridge heading into the Heart of the Town, the one on the left is next to the River, the one on the right us where the Local Festivals are held. Bronze Memorials dedicated to the Civil War

Thank doublecharms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ava Gardner Museum also viewed

 

Been to Ava Gardner Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing