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New exhibition “Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics” coming to Biltmore in 2017

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (September 2016)

A collection of classic literary works and the popular movies that brought them to life will be celebrated in “Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics,” Biltmore’s newest exhibition of award-winning costumes and objects from the Biltmore collection.

Set for Feb. 10 through July 4, 2017, the exhibition is inspired by favorite stories in George Vanderbilt’s 22,000-volume library. More than 40 elaborate costumes from recent films will be displayed in Biltmore House, including a costume worn by Robert Downey Jr. in “Sherlock Holmes,” and Nicole Kidman’s Isabel Archer costume from “The Portrait of a Lady.”

The film fashions will be displayed along with the original books from Vanderbilt’s library that served as cinematic inspiration. The clothing reveals the attention to detail involved in period costume design.

Vanderbilt began to read at a very young age, and years later he was once dubbed by New York media as “one of the best read men in the country.” At age 12, he started keeping a record of books read, numbered consecutively, including the title and author of each work completed.  These journals log 38 years and 3,159 books, and will be on display during this exhibition.

The exhibition will also give insight into the eclectic and varied interests that led Vanderbilt to collect more than 22,000 volumes before his death. 

Admission to “Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics,” is included in the general admission ticket price.  For more information about Biltmore, visit

About Biltmore
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt.  Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques.  Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture.  Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm;  The Inn on Biltmore Estate; Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to or call 877-BILTMORE.

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