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Aug 28, 2019

New Exhibit at Nevada State Museum features Jubilee! costumes

Costumes from one of the most lavish shows in the history of Las Vegas has a new home at the Nevada State Museum.

A new exhibit called the “Showgirl Wall” features costumes from several shows including Jubilee!

The dazzling show entertained millions of guests for 35 years at Bally’s Las Vegas. Now, some of the costumes and the original sketches from designer Pete Menefee are on display.

“It is a very cool partnership that we formed with Caesars Entertainment to reunite the show’s original costume with the original sketches,” said Karan Feder, curator of costume and textiles at the Nevada State Museum. “Included in our collection are what we called the ‘Jubilee! wardrobe bibles.’ Designers Bob Mackie and Pete Menefee’s assistant compiled these ‘bibles’ which had every sketch and hundreds of pages of notes in three-ring binders.”

The Showgirl Display at the museum opened June 1, 2019.

The first pieces on display are from the Titanic number.

“The Titanic costumes that are on display were from 2012 when Pete, who was the original costume designer for Jubilee, was rehired to reimagine what the number might look like today,” said Feder.

Feder said currently on display is a dress that survived the 1980’s fire at what is now known as Bally’s Las Vegas. 

“The gown is called one of the ‘love song’ gowns,” she said. “The director ended up going in a different direction with the number, so these gowns were repurposed for a different act.”

Feder said it is essential for the museum to form partnerships with the properties to be able to display the pieces to the public since it is part of Nevada’s history.

“The museum collects these kinds of things for posterity so people in the future can study and research them,” said Feder. “We do a lot of preservation work so we can keep it at the same state we received for as long as possible.”

The “Showgirl Wall” at the Nevada State Museum is a permanent exhibit. The museum plans to rotate costumes periodically which will include pieces from Jubilee! In the dedicated “Jubilee! Window.”

The Nevada State Museum is located at Springs Preserve on 333 S. Valley View Blvd. The Nevada State Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is included with the purchase of general admission tickets to Springs Preserve. Ticketing information can be found online here