Pocket Venus: the Rise and Fall and Rise of a Hollywood Starlet

Thursday 3 January | 6-8pm

Pocket Venus 2-lowb
Pocket Venus 2-lowb
Mildred Shay & Hollywood
Mildred Shay & Hollywood
Slide 3
Slide 3


Join writer and curator Austin Mutti-Mewse in discussing his cross-generational friendship with Mildred Shay, one of Hollywood’s ‘Golden Era’ starlets. In this talk, he will present the story of how he came to be friends with the Mildred, an actress dubbed ‘Hollywood’s Pocket Venus’ by gossip columnist Walter Winchell due to her diminutive 5ft height. She was as much (if not more) well known for her private life as for her screen roles with many high-profile suitors including Howard Hughes and Errol Flynn.

Austin Mutti-Mewse will recount the story which started with a childhood spent writing to the silver screen’s finest (as described in his previous book I Used to Be in Pictures), and transformed into a meaningful friendship between a young obituary writer and an ageing ingénue. Austin will also be displaying some of Mildred’s personal effects, including her Hardy Amies ‘Made in England’ suit (pictured above), a cape from Cecil B. de Mille and her Max Factor monogrammed makeup box from 1932, containing original Max Factor makeup.

Pocket Venus: the Rise and Fall and Rise of a Hollywood Starlet, (£25.00, Zuleika) charts the story of their extraordinary friendship and examining how Mildred went from a sparkling Hollywood ingénue to lonely nonagenarian in London to adored adopted family member.

Austin Mutti-Mewse, writer and obituarist, has worked as the curator at Hardy Amies, a freelance consultant for brands such as Jo Malone, Truefitt & Hill and Sienna Jones and as a contributor to GQ, Esquire and numerous national newspapers. His previous publications include Worth Exposing Hollywood (2002) and I Used to Be in Pictures (2014), both co-written with his twin brother, Howard Mutti-Mewse.

The event starts at 6pm with a glass of wine in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the current exhibition. The talk follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including an opportunity to ask questions, followed by a book signing in the foyer. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.

£15 / £12 students. All tickets include a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.

Book Online
Numbers are limited for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you have any questions about this event please complete our enquiry form.

Pocket Venus: the Rise and Fall and Rise of a Hollywood Starlet and I Used to Be in Pictures will be available for sale in the shop.

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