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The Dietrich Exhibit

Three of the 16 rooms are devoted to the Marlene Dietrich Exhibit, part of the larger Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin, which is housed separately because of its size (the total collection includes some 3,500 items).

Gathered from Hollywood, New York, London and Paris, where the film star lived in later years until her death in 1992, the Dietrich memorabilia was a major acquisition and ranks among the worlds largest and most valuable privately owned movie-star collections. The Dietrich Exhibit changes every six months, rotating items from the main collection and giving visitors a reason to return.

Many of the glamorous gowns from Dietrichs famous wardrobe are on display, including creations by Balanciaga, Balmain, Dior and Schiaparelli. Fans will recognize film costumes by leading designers like Jean Louis, Travis Branton, Edith Head and Eddie Schmidt. Accessories include jewelry, hats, purses, gloves, shoes...and even the luggage that carried them around the globe for her many film and singing engagements.

Stills and off-screen shots from famous Dietrich movies recall important film moments, and the many family and private portraits include studies by artists such as Cecil Beaton, Irving Chidnoff, Tony Armstrong Jones and Edward Steichen. Paintings, sketches, posters and costumed figurines round out the exhibit, plus letters from friends and admirers like Noel Coward, Jean Gabin, Hildegard Knef, Kurt Weill and Orson Welles.

Though Dietrich became a U.S. citizen in 1939, Berlin was always home. The title of her autobiography, Ich bin, Gott sei Dank, Berlinerin (I Am, Thank God, a Berliner), is clear evidence of her attachment to the city. In the Billy Wilder films, A Foreign Affair (1948), and Witness for the Prosecution (1957), her characters were German women; and in Judgement at Nuremberg (1961), she portrayed the widow of a German general.

The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm with extended hours each Thursday until 8pm. General admission is € 6. Special rates are available for families, students and groups.

Film Museum Berlin Deutsche Kinemathek, Sony Center, Potsdamer Strasse 2, D-10785 Berlin, tel: + 49/030/300 903 0, fax 300 903 13.

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