VIP Opening Night “Love, Shirley Temple” At The Santa Monica History Museum

Photos by © Billy Bennight for  The Los Angeles Beat. Seen here is Jane Withers.

Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat. Seen here is Jane Withers.

This last Wednesday night was the special opening night of “Love, Shirley Temple” VIP reception at the Santa Monica History Museum in Santa Monica. The festivities celebrated with food, drink (Shirley Temples), a host of notable child actors and stars and most importantly, Shirley Temple’s personal collection of wardrobe from her historic massively popular depression era movies. The wardrobe being archivally preserved in cold storage for nearly 80 years has been offered to 5 museums for display as part of her last wishes in her will. The Santa Monica History Museum was one to be selected for this special viewing.

Photo Gallery After The Break

Those of note who were a part of the evening festivities we Shirley’s son Charles Black Jr. and daughter Susan Black-Falaschi: as well as, Shirley’s Stand-in Marilyn Granas, Jane Withers, Margaret O’Brien, Gigi Perrault (all worked with Shirley) and Marilyn Knowlden who had a similar acting path as Shirley. There was an award ceremony honoring Louise Gabriel, the president of the Santa Monica History Museum from the city of Santa Monica. This was followed with a rousing interview with Marilyn Knowlden as the seated crowd listened on a rare perspective of Shirley’s life as a young actress. Shirley Temple was a favorite Franklin Delano Roosevelt who had her to the White House. She single-handedly put a smile on Depression Era gloom and her fame was often met with thousands upon thousands of fans being apart of her public appearances. Her place in history is legendary spelling over in to our current era.

The costumes are in extraordinary shape. Anyone with a fascination of construction and beautiful design will find the exhibition an amazing look into the past to view the marvelous details of excellent sewing and beautiful execution of the making of costumes. The Lenci Dolls are fully costumed with their original wardrobe. This is another exceptional aspect to the viewing.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to snatch a palpable taste of early 20th Century culture and wardrobe. The exhibition is open for viewing through the 10th of June. The Santa Monica History Museum hours are: Tues. & Thurs. 12pm – 8pm Wed. Fri. & Sat. 10am – 5pm Sun. & Mon. Closed.


Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer and photographer with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with a keen interest in art, fashion, photography, and writing. He shoots celebrity and red-carpet events for ZUMA Press. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. His images have been published in The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Parade, Wall Street Journal, and French Elle, both Vanity Fair and Vanity Fair Italia. He's very engaged in life. You an see more of his work at ZUMA Press at You can follow him on his Facebook page at: and on Instagram and Twitter @billybennight
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2 Responses to VIP Opening Night “Love, Shirley Temple” At The Santa Monica History Museum

  1. Lou says:

    Her daughter Lori didn’t show up?

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