Museum Hours   |   Monday-Saturday: 9am – 5pm   |  Sunday: 2 pm – 5 pm


  • Museum Collections

    The Ava Gardner Museum is home to an extensive collection of Ava Gardner memorabilia. Each object in the museum was either...
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  • Ava's Story

    Ava Lavinia Gardner was born on Christmas Eve, 1922, in Grabtown, a rural community seven miles east of Smithfield, NC.
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  • Featured Item

    This fabulous tote features the iconic image of Ava from "The Killers" on one side and also bears her signature.
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  • Filmography

    A comprehensive list of all the movies that resulted in Ava Gardner’s rise to an international film legend.
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Ava's ClosetThe 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.

Come to downtown Smithfield and 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 Ava Gardner Festival is scheduled for October 3-5 in Historic Downtown Smithfield

The Ava Gardner Festival will open festivities on Friday, Oct. 3 with the Fashion Fling reception unveiling the "Ava's Closet" exhibits with entertainment by the Carolina Crooner's tribute to dress to the nines...put on your dancing shoes and enjoy the "fling". Saturday's activities include free movie screenings of The Killers and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, heritage tours and a special appearance of Project Runway finalist, Justin LeBlanc.  On Saturday night join us at the Clayton Piano Festival at The Clayton Center which will showcase music from Show Boat by classical pianist Azamat Sydakov. Sunday will continue with extended hours and FREE movie screening of The African Queen. This year's tribute to the movies is in honor of Ava's dear friend, John Huston. For more information on the schedule and ticket prices - CLICK HERE.

Photo Caption:  This head-piece was just recently donated to the museum by Carmen, Ava's personal assistant, and will be on display for the first time at this year's festival.

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