Larry McQueen


The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

Larry McQueen and his costume collection archive

Larry McQueen and his costume collection archive

Several years ago Kathleen Lynagh and Larry McQueen began a collaboration on the recreative jewelry projects. Larry McQueen is owner of The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design, a business dedicated to the preservation, restoration and exhibition of motion picture costumes.  For the last twenty-five years, Mr. McQueen and his late business partner, Bill Thomas, actively dealt in the field of important motion picture costumes, both in acquisition, sales and exhibitions.  They realized, early on, that film costumes were a fragile and rapidly disappearing part of Hollywood heritage.

Respected as a leading Hollywood costume historian and archivist, McQueen has held the positions of consultants for Camden House Auctioneers, Inc. in Los Angeles; Christie’s East, New York; Christie’s London, Butterfield & Butterfield, Los Angeles/ San Francisco, Entertainment Rarities & Julien Entertainment and has been responsible for the authentication of film costumes and the estimation of their value.  In 1990, he worked in a consultant capacity with Christie’s to catalogue, identify, and set pre-sale estimates for a major collection of movie wardrobe to be auctioned by Paramount Studios and in 1992, worked with Butterfield & Butterfield on a collection of movie wardrobe auctioned by Western Costume Co in three successive auctions.  In 1995, after the passing of Bill Thomas, Larry’s job of fourteen years as an archivist for a major law firm ended and he continued his association with Butterfield and Butterfield by cataloguing, identifying and setting pre-sale estimates for a major collection of 800 items from the original MGM auction in 1970 and the collection of costumes from “Star Trek” from Paramount in 1998.  He has been an advisor for Sotheby’s New York and was partly responsible for the research and estimation of value for a collection of costumes and props from Planet Hollywood.  From 1999 – 2012, Mr. McQueen worked as an archivist with MGM/ UA in creating and maintaining a prop and costume collection of MGM films.   In addition, The Collection has worked with private estates and costume houses such as Lucille Ball, Jane Withers, Edith Head, Wayne Finkleman, Julie Newmar, Debbie Reynolds, Western Costume Company, Eastern Costume Company, CRC, American Costume Co and others in researching items and their valuation.

Mr. McQueen’s private collection of film costumes is one the finest private collections of its kind and consists of costumes worn in films from 1920 to present.   His concern is with the preservation and restoration of these valuable art works and with sharing them with the public.  He has exhibited portions of his collection in association with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Los Angeles Museum of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Fashion Institute in New York, the American Film Institute, The Fashion Institute of Design Merchandizing in Los Angeles, Australian Center For The Moving Image in Melbourne, Australia, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence Italy, the Field Museum in Chicago, The South Carolina State Museum, The National Museum of Antiquities in The Netherlands, the Bendingo Museum in Autralia, The Dallas Women’s Museum, The Oakland Museum of Art, The Columbus Museum of Art, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, The Skirball Center in Los Angeles, the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) in New York, the Fashion Foundation in Tokyo Japan, The Tropenmuseum-Amsterdam and the Kulturgeschichtliches Museum in Germany.

The Collection has been a labor of love.  It began long before the current memorabilia fervor.  It came from an appreciation for the artistry and talent that went into the production of these creations that have left their indelible mark on Hollywood’s history.  Mr. McQueen’s hope is that these valuable fragile artifacts of Hollywood heritage will be preserved for future generations and that the public will gain an appreciation of their artistic value.

Featured articles and links from the exhibits by Larry McQueen: