Ava Gardner was born just seven miles east of Smithfield and remains today one of Hollywood's most beloved stars. We're home to an incredible collection including original scripts, photos, movie costumes, posters, and personal effects of the screen legend. Upon arriving at the museum, visitors will be greeted with a 15-minute introductory video on Ava's life. There are sixteen permanent exhibits that chronicle her early childhood through her attending Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College in Wilson) and each display moves along through her discovery by MGM, movie career, marriages, and life in London and Spain. The Tom Banks Gallery holds a collection of quirky portraits painted by Bert Pfeffier, a Dutch artist who painted more than 40 portraits of Ava. We also have rotating exhibits.

Groups welcome; discounts for seniors, military and children

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Ava Gardner Museum Brochure


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Johnston County Visitors Bureau

Johnston County

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