Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas adds paintings from epic Reno show

Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas adds paintings from epic Reno show

A Bill Campbell painting of a “Hello Hollywood, Hello!” costume is one of 14 recently added to the collection at Nevada State Museum Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Nevada State Museum

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas recently added some sparkle to its already impressive collection of performance costume memorabilia – 14 costume design paintings executed by Bill Campbell in the late 1970s for the Donn Arden production show “Hello Hollywood, Hello!”

MGM Grand Hotel-Reno’s signature show opened in 1978 in a showroom boasting the largest stage in the world. With 300 dancers, a waterfall set, an earthquake number, a space age discotheque and a DC-9 jet airplane, the stage was barely big enough to contain the extravagance. Such was the era of colossal production shows designed to lure folks in the door in the hope that, following the performance, audience members would head straight to the casino floor for a little gambling.

The show’s dazzling costumes were co-designed by Bill Campbell and Pete Menefee. The State Museum has collected many of the costume design artworks that Menefee executed for the production, but until recently, the original artwork from Bill Campbell remained elusive.

“It’s incredibly exciting to discover Campbell’s costume sketches for Hello Hollywood Hello,” said Karan Feder, guest curator of Costume & Textiles. “The museum’s collection includes a number of the designer’s stage costumes from the show, so it’s quite significant, 40 years later, to have the opportunity to reunite the designer’s original creative vision with the realized costume.”

As part of the museum’s ongoing mission to digitize its collections, access to this unique archive is available to the public via the museum’s online collection. Click here for more: