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 childhood photos, high school yearbooks, personal items of James Dean’s, 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 paintings, drawings 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.