From Graceland to Bendigo: Exhibition coup for art gallery

Exhibition explores life of a musical icon: Elvis: Direct from Graceland comes to Bendigo in March 2022

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Bendigo Art Gallery to present new "King of Rock'n'Roll", Elvis Presley exhibition

GRACELAND: Elvis strolls the grounds of his beloved estate.

GRACELAND: Elvis strolls the grounds of his beloved estate.

The King is coming to Victoria!

In an Australian exclusive, Bendigo Art Gallery will present a major new biographical exhibition exploring one of the most iconic and influential figures of the 20th Century, the "King of Rock'n'Roll" Elvis Presley.

Elvis: Direct from Graceland will run from March 19 - July 17, 2022 as a celebration of the life and legacy of the musical icon, featuring 300 artefacts including his military uniforms, a 1976 Red Bicentennial Custom Harley Davidson and some of his famous jumpsuits.

Curated by Bendigo Art Gallery in collaboration with Graceland, the exhibition will explore Elvis' stellar career, his larger-than-life persona, lesser-known aspects of his early years, interests and personal life, and his radical sense of style.

In a major coup for Bendigo, the Gallery has been able to secure unprecedented access to the Graceland archives to present a comprehensive exhibition on arguably one of the world's greatest and most popular artists.

The major exhibition will also include personal items like baby clothes from his daughter Lisa Marie, his first job application and his first-grade crayon box he took to school as well as a wide range of costumes and ultra-cool outfits, vintage memorabilia, and treasured items from his beloved Graceland home.

Elvis and Priscilla cut their wedding cake.

Elvis and Priscilla cut their wedding cake.

Elvis' wedding tuxedo and wife Priscilla's wedding dress will be on display along with a stage costume from the acclaimed TV performance known as the '68 Comeback Special, and garments from his eclectic home wardrobe as well as the repurposed '68 costume he wore to meet President Nixon, the diamond-encrusted Maltese cross necklace designed by Linda Thompson, and a dazzling array of Vegas jumpsuits. Personal treasures include his gold telephone, karate gi, and the bongos Priscilla gifted him on their first Christmas together in Graceland.

Visiting Australia for the first time ever is a bright red convertible 1960 MG from the movie Blue Hawaii, the only car from his films that Elvis actually owned and had brought to the Hawaii location to get around in his free time.

Elvis with Priscilla and their daughter Lisa Marie.

Elvis with Priscilla and their daughter Lisa Marie.

Created in partnership with Graceland, the exhibition explores the extraordinary life and style of Elvis Presley and is expected to draw visitors from around Australia.

One of the most iconic public figures of the 20th century, Elvis's influence on music, design, art, and pop culture was profound.

From his humble childhood on the poverty line in small-town Mississippi, Elvis grew up immersed in the rich and diverse music cultures of the deep South. Only two years after cutting his first single at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, Elvis had signed a major record deal and virtually overnight shot to super-stardom the likes of which had never been seen before. In those early heady years, he purchased Graceland and created the private haven he would never sell, despite his ever-increasing fame over the following two decades.

The exhibition is the latest feature in the successful Bendigo International Collections series which has also included Grace Kelly: Style Icon in 2012 and Bendigo Art Gallery and Twentieth Century Fox present Marilyn Monroe in 2016.

Angie Marchese, Vice President Archives and Exhibits at Elvis Presley Enterprises, said she was delighted to work with Bendigo Art Gallery to present an exhibition about Elvis' life in Australia.

"It is a great honor to work alongside the creative team at the Bendigo Art Gallery to bring this unprecedented, detailed and comprehensive look into Elvis' life and career to Australia. While Elvis was never able to visit Australia himself, it brings us great pride at Graceland to know that his legacy and music lives on there. We look forward to sharing a glimpse into Elvis' life with the fans in Australia."

Bendigo Art Gallery director Jessica Bridgfoot said, "We are so excited to be able to bring this iconic collection to Australia - the latest in an international series of exhibitions that pay homage to style icons including Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Balenciaga and Mary Quant.

"What they each have in common is a focus on fashion and design, and this exhibition highlights Elvis' trailblazing sense of style, the close working relationships he forged with designers such as Lansky Brothers and Bill Belew and his impact on 20th century visual culture."

The exhibition is supported by the Victorian Government's Major Events Fund.

Tickets: $30.00/$25.00/$20.00/$15.00/$75. Under 5 years free.