Set in the middle of Las Vegas and just off of the famous Las Vegas Strip, visitors can find the Liberace Museum. This building holds all the extravagance of the former entertainer, coupled by a lavish exterior. Venture inside, and the glitz and glamour continue, as the museum houses many of Liberace's famous flamboyant costumes and other paraphernalia. From props and pianos to cars and candelabras, the museum maintains the largest collection of Liberace memorabilia in the world, keeping his legend alive long after his death.
Mr. Showmanship's Life
Liberace, born Wladziu Valantino Liberace on May 16th 1919, became a hugely popular musician and showman particularly during the 1950's. Often referred to as "Mr. Showmanship," Liberace added sparkle to his immense talent as a pianist, dressing up both himself and his piano.
Often adorned in sequined suits and spectacular jewelry, while driving the most outrageous custom-designed automobiles, Liberace loved to flaunt his extravagance. From early appearances in nightclubs, through to recording songs, releasing albums, and appearing on television and film, Liberace found a home in Las Vegas during the 1970's. Performing nightly for crowds of hundreds, if not thousands, Liberace regained much of his earlier electricity with his outrageous onstage antics. Las Vegas became his town as a bill-topping player - and he had a lucrative salary to match.
Liberace passed away on February 4th 1987 at the age of 67 due to complications arising from HIV/AIDS. His legacy, however, lives on through the museum, which captures and immortalizes "Mr. Showmanship's" flamboyant life.
The museum is now run by the Liberace foundation. It offers scholarships and grants to schools, colleges, and students throughout America. A non-profit organization, the museum's primary funding is derived from the foundations.
Exhibits at the Liberace Museum
"Mr. Showmanship" himself opened the Liberace Museum in 1979. It offered fans of the entertainer an opportunity to get close to his possessions and see a little bit of what the man was like outside of the public glare.
From the beginning, the museum housed many of Liberace's personal items, including antiques, clothes, jewelry, and, of course, pianos. Since his death, the collections have grown, as have the buildings that house them. Today, the museum is divided into two distinct buildings, showing various parts of the collection.
Building one of the museum contains many of Liberace's larger items, such as his cars and pianos. These include his famous Red, White, and Blue Rolls Royce, as well as a rare grand piano once owned by George Gershwin. Building two, on the other hand, has the more decorative and smaller items, such as jewelry, costumes, and various other pieces of finery from his private collection. The building also has an exact recreation of the performer's Palm Springs bedroom, shown in all its lavish glory. An incredible antique Louis XV table that was previously owned by the last Russian Czar, Nicholas II, can also be found there.
Visiting the Liberace Museum
The Liberace Museum is open every day of the week, apart from major holidays, from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. It is open from 12:00 until 4:00 on Sundays. Currently, admission rates for adults are less than $13 and less than $9 for students. Children under 10 get in for free, as do members of the museum.