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James Dean Gallery, Fairmount

#49 of 170 in Museums in Indiana
Must see · Art Museum · Museum
The James Dean Gallery was established in 1988 in the actor’s hometown and final resting place of Fairmount, Indiana. This extensive exhibit is the private collection of James Dean archivist David Loehr, who began collecting in 1974. The collection is housed in a beautifully restored 1903 Victorian home, located on tree-lined North Main Street in downtown Fairmount.

The exhibit consists of literally thousands of items of James Dean memorabilia and gives visitors the opportunity to see the worldwide impact that this Indiana native and American film star has made.

As you tour through the exhibit, you’ll see personal items related to James Dean along with several dozen original movie posters in several different languages from around the world which show the actor’s international impact. There are also books and magazines dedicated to Dean dating from the mid-fifties to the present which are also from many different countries.

The Kenneth Kendall Room features several paintings and sculptures done by the Hollywood artist who created the bronze busts of Dean that are erected at The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and at the James Dean Memorial Park in Fairmount.

There are showcases full of tribute and novelty items that have been produced since the 1950s, such as souvenir plates, mugs, ceramic busts, puzzles, gum cards, scarves, and much more.

The archive and library at the gallery has been used by several authors and film-makers working on documentaries and includes over 1,000 photographs, hundreds of books and magazines, and file cabinets full of clippings and information regarding James Dean from birth to death and beyond.

The James Dean Gallery gives visitors an opportunity to view many of the items which have helped to keep the memory of this famous Indiana native alive.
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64 reviews
  • This Gallery in Fairmount has quite a few show cases with James Dean items, vintage and newer, to be viewed and a film room that shows films about and with James Dean. It also has a resale shop with.....  more »
  • The man who owns and runs this place said he moved here from New York (or new Jersey?) to open it. Take a look at all things James Dean, in many languages. Sometimes it's hard to believe a man from...  more »
  • My first time at the gallery. I was left absolutely speechless when I first walked through the front door. The amount of history that was displayed in such an organized manner left me in awe. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the curators of this museum for the hospitality they showed me today. Forever grateful.
  • Linda & I visited today after family business in Marion. Already regretting we couldn’t stay longer. Store owner, Lenny, is very dedicated and gracious answering all our questions. Lenny’s a skilled host for 31 years at the gallery and was kind enough to photo op us with the James Dean statue on his front lawn. Visitors please plan to stay longer than an hour. DandyDon

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