Thank you to E.A. Turney for this wonderful letter we recently received:
“At Thanksgiving I collected my mail from my mom’s house that had accumulated over the past several months, including a few items from the John Wayne Birthplace. One item in particular stood out starkly: a full size glossy classic photo of a young Aissa Wayne and her dad, signed by Aissa and personalized to me!!
Now certainly Aissa is unfailingly gracious and exceedingly generous to her dad’s fans. Even so, considering how cool and unique this photo is, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that my friends at the Birthplace had a hand in making it happen. So a sincere thank you to you and Aissa for doing that. It is much appreciated.
John Wayne enthusiasts and culture seekers alike can now step inside the world of an American legend and get to know John Wayne the movie star, world traveler and family man at the new interactive installation, “JOHN WAYNE: The Genuine Article,” at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville on view through January 1, 2018.
The exhibit, which debuted as part of Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas celebration, takes visitors through the journey of John Wayne’s life with never-before-seen memorabilia, iconic film props, a behind-the-scenes glimpse into John Wayne’s private life and more.
JOHN WAYNE: The Genuine Article, based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same title, features six interactive rooms:
Inventing John Wayne: The first room will tell the story of how John Wayne got his start from his early childhood days to the creation of the persona that defined his character. Known for his walk, visitors can learn his “rolling gate,” as they listen to his legendary voice and learn the origins of his iconic style.
Western Man: The second room highlights what John Wayne is most remembered as, the authentic western man, and captures the spirit of the west with his film costumes, hats, belts, boots, guns, etc. Visitors will be able to try on his hat, beat John Wayne at quick-draw, view a timeline of his 84 Western movies and more.
Our Glorious Industry: Though a humble man, John Wayne was a Hollywood movie star. The third room dives into his role and legacy in filmmaking with a glimpse at original scripts, his nearly 200 feature films, correspondence with other famous Hollywood legends and industry awards including his Oscar.
John Wayne The Patriot: John Wayne loved his country and was a champion of American values both on and off the screen. In the fourth room, visitors can read letters from Presidents, see his Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom, and recognitions from various military branches, his uniforms from films and more.
For The Fans: Highlighting not only how beloved John Wayne was but also how much he loved his fans the fifth room will contain fan mail and correspondence, artwork, memorable stories and more. In this room, visitors can write a letter to John Wayne and post to the wall and take one of his famous “Good Luck” cards.
Family Moments: From the sunny beaches of Newport Beach, California to Wayne’s Arizona ranch, his boat The Wild Goose and film sets, John Wayne was a beloved family man. Visitors will see never-before-seen photos of his family life, treasured family objects and more.
Tickets are on sale now at genuinearticle.johnwayne.com and on-site at Gaylord Opryland Resort.
This exhibit will travel the U.S. and abroad. To be the first to find where the exhibition will go next, go to: johnwayne.com/genuinearticle and sign up on the email list.
Some quotes about the exhibit:
It is so exciting to see my father’s world come to life for the public to experience and enjoy. The holidays are always a special time for our family and Nashville is such a fun destination during the holiday season. We can’t wait to kick off the opening of the exhibit for families and friends to enjoy quality time together while learning about my father beyond his personas on screen in an interactive way. —Ethan Wayne
Went there on opening day. Wonderful and exciting. Ethan, Marisa, Patrick were there. So exciting to meet them. Worth a drive from anywhere. –Exhibit visitor
My wife and I were the first ones through the door and who do we see waiting to greet us? Ethan himself. Then Patrick and Marisa walk over. What a blessed day for us. Chatting and getting a few pics with these wonderful down to earth people. A big thank you to the Wayne family for bringing this exhibit to Nashville. Bless you all. –Exhibit visitor
If John Wayne had been a western singer, he’d have been Red Steagall. Born and raised in the Panhandle Plains of Texas, Steagall champions the rugged spirit and traditions of his forbears, the same spirit exemplified by John Wayne throughout his entire motion picture career.
It’s our great honor–and pleasure–to announce that Red Steagall will be headlining our 2018 John Wayne Birthday Celebration, May 25 & 26, in Winterset, Iowa.
Steagall’s award-winning RFD-TV television show, “Somewhere West of Wall Street,” is only the latest of his noteworthy accomplishments. He is also the host of “Cowboy Corner,” an hour-long syndicated radio program which airs on 170 stations in 43 states.
In his 45-year entertainment career, Steagall has enjoyed tremendous success as a hit-making singer and songwriter, movie actor and producer and record industry executive–he discovered and launched the career of Reba McEntire and was present in the studio with John Wayne during the recording of Duke’s patriotic album, “America, Why I Love Her.”
Steagall has performed at countless rodeos and western music festivals. He was also invited to perform at the Reagan White House. For the past 27 years he has hosted his own Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards District. His many awards include being honored by the Texas legislature as the Lone Star State’s Poet Laureate and induction into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Please be on hand to help us welcome one of the most esteemed Westerners of our time.