Grace: Photographs, 1955–1969 An exhibition at Castletown

12 June 17

The OPW is delighted to present this wonderful exhibition curated by Guillaume Aral, Virginie Journiac and Leonardo Saviano. The 124 original photographs in this collection capture the fascinating transformation of Hollywood icon Grace Kelly into Princess Grace of Monaco. First shown at Galerie Ferrero in Nice last summer, it has been expanded to include additional vintage photographs covering the State visit to Ireland in 1961 of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco.

Starting at the height of her career in 1955 – Grace had just received the Oscar for her performance in The Country Girl – we first encounter the actress on the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, filmed on the Côte d’Azur, then see her pose for photographers at the Cannes Film Festival a few months later. Through the lens of Irish-born photographer Edward Quinn, we witness her first meeting with Prince Rainier at the Royal Palace in Monte Carlo, a photo opportunity arranged by Paris Match to which both parties had only reluctantly agreed. Photograph by photograph, their story unfolds: Prince Rainier’s voyage to the United States in December – ostensibly for medical reasons – where he would spend Christmas with the Kellys and propose to Grace, then Grace’s voyage to Monaco the following spring for her wedding. A kaleidoscope of intimate snapshots and press photographs goes far beyond the polished images associated with the fairy-tale story of the decade. Instead, it offers unique and unexpected glimpses of Grace’s world: the world of the court, of high society and celebrities, of public commitments and royal duties. And at the same time, the private world of family life, of personal encounters, of moments that capture her disarming allure and esprit.

In this lies the charm of the exhibition: carefully composed and researched – each photograph is accompanied by valuable background information – it flows easily like a vivid conversation or a pleasant walk through the years, drawing the viewer in from the first photograph to the last. 

To coincide with this exhibition at Castletown House in 2017, we have a programme full of activities, including film screenings, children’s film workshops and talks with fashion experts like Ib Jorgensen, Deirdre McQuillan and Peter O’Brien.

29 May – 30 September 2017

Admission to the exhibition is included in the ticket to Castletown House.

Visit to find out more.

Grace: Photographs, 1955–1969