Liberace museum faces final curtain in Las Vegas

It was announced some time ago that the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas would close due to dwindling attendances.

Liberace was an American showbiz phenomenon who created an ultra extravagant persona built around his ability to play the piano with pizzazz.  He was a huge star of the 1950s and 1960s on television, and he broke audience attendances wherever he played.

Liberace led a very extravagant lifestyle, and his stage costumes became famous for the amount of fur, gems and rhinestones he would wear on stage, and for his huge, lavishly decorated grand pianos that always had a giant candelabra placed upon them.  Liberace wowed audiences with his shows up until the mid 1980’s, until he passed away in 1987.

In 1976 Liberace founded the non-profit Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts. Liberace considered the Foundation, which funds scholarships and grants for schools and colleges across the USA.  Income raised from the Liberace Museum was used to help fund the Foundation.

It is somehow fitting that the Liberace Museum be based in Las Vegas, because Liberace was brighter than Las Vegas itself.  Featured exhibits include Liberace’s eighteen rare and antique grand pianos, his fabulous costumes and jewellery, which included an amethyst ring that was presented to him by Queen Elizabeth II.  Also on display are his remarkable cars, which include a Rolls Royce convertible painted in the Stars and Stripes, and another Rolls Royce that is clad entirely in mirrored tiles.

Liberace was a totally original performer who revolutionised the way that concerts were staged.  It is sad, that the public memory of Liberace has faded so much that a museum devoted to him should have to close.

A note on the museum’s website advises that the museum is closed temporarily. Hopefully, it will overcome its problems so that visitors can share in the Liberace magic.

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