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Marion Davies Estate: Past, Present and Future To Be Examined at Exhibit and Lecture:

The Santa Monica Historical Society Museum will hold a reception and lecture related to its current exhibit, “Marion Davies Estate,” on Sunday, January 8, from 2 to 4 p.m..

The lecture will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Marion Davies began her acting career on Broadway and made her first film, “Runaway Romany,” when she was 20. She went on to become one of Hollywood’s most celebrated and popular movie stars.

She made many silent films and was one of the few stars to make a successful transition to talkies. Some film historians credit her with being the movies’ first screwball comedienne.

She became newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst’s mistress in the 1920s and the two remained together until his death 34 years later.

After Davies and Hearst moved their company, Cosmopolitan Productions, to California, Hearst built Davies the most lavish estate on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast. It was designed by Julia Morgan, America’s premier woman architect who also designed Hearst’s San Simeon.

The exhibit features historic photographs of Marion Davies and her elaborate estate’s main house, guest house, other buildings and marble swimming pool from the Bison Archives.

Marc Wanamaker, founder of Bison Archives and motion picture consultant, will give a lecture on the life and times of Davies and Hearst,

A $21 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation is underwriting the resurrection of the Davies estate for use by the public.

The City’s Director of Community and Cultural Services, Barbara Stinchfield, Jessica Cusick, Cultural Affairs Manager and John Berley of Fred Fisher and Partners, the project architects, will provide an overview and discuss the ways the layered history of the site will be integrated into the project.The museum collects and preserves the Santa Monica Bay history, and is located at 1539 Euclid Street in Santa Monica.

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