Current events, press releases and general announcements regarding upcoming events at The Wayne Collection:

June 20, 2012
The Wayne Collection Installed at USC School of Cinematic Arts(SCA)

Gretchen Wayne

Gretchen Wayne at the SCA Dedication of the Wayne Collection. Photo credit: Steve Cohn.

When it comes to movie stars and USC alumni, it doesn’t get much bigger than John Wayne. More hero than man, the American legend captured the interest of moviegoers in more than 140 films, forever earning himself a place in cinematic history. On June 20th, the USC School of Cinematic Arts dedicated the Wayne Collection which was curated by John Wayne’s late son Michael, and donated by Michael’s widow Gretchen Wayne. The collection, comprised of movie posters, memorabilia, awards and personal correspondence, is on permanent exhibition within the SCA complex.

“It’s been a great experience for me,” Gretchen Wayne said, “to go through all of these items and realize the love and care that Michael had, not only as a son, but as a businessman and as his father’s confidant. This has been an endeavor of love.”

“We are honored and humbled to have John Wayne’s legacy and the Wayne family name at the School of Cinematic Arts,” said Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. “None of this would have been possible without the work and dedication of Gretchen Wayne whose kindness and generosity will live at the School for generations to come.”

Guests included Gretchen Wayne’s children Josie, Christopher, Teresa, Alicia and husband Jim McFarlane, Maria and husband Lance King, grandchildren Patrick and Kathryn McFarlane, as well as Iron Mountain’s Jeff Anthony, Guy Abrahams and Amy Helbring who help maintain the John Wayne archives.

Reprinted with

November 3, 2011
Click here to download the Press Release PDF.

Duke’s Legacy Finds a Home at USC
Los Angeles, California, November 3, 2011 — A part of the world’s largest collection of John Wayne memorabilia goes on view to the public with the opening of “The Wayne Collection,” a unique exhibit and lounge space at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. 

Students and the public will have an opportunity to experience the golden age of film at USC, with the opening of The Wayne Collection, a dedicated space within the School of Cinematic Arts. The Wayne Collection will house a rotating collection of film memorabilia from the 50-year career of motion picture icon, John Wayne, fondly known as “Duke.”

In a lounge space on the second floor of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, visitors will be able to relax and view original movie posters from all but one of John Wayne’s 152 films. The total poster collection contains over 6,000 pieces. Highlights will include a poster from John Wayne’s 1939 break-out hit, Stagecoach, beautifully designed foreign posters, and pieces by renowned artists such as Norman Rockwell, Thomas Hart Benton and Alberto Vargas.

Wardrobe items will be on display, giving the public a chance to see vests, boots, hats and chaps worn by John Wayne in various movies such as Hondo, The Green Berets and Big Jake. Scripts, press books, novels and video elements will also be on view.

This window into film history would not exist without the efforts of John Wayne’s eldest son, Michael. Michael Wayne began acquiring memorabilia from his father’s films in 1976, after he realized his father had not saved anything from his many years in motion pictures. For the next 18 years until his death in 2003, Michael Wayne collected both foreign and domestic film posters, advertising materials, costumes and promotional items.

“Dad was always looking ahead, and he didn’t bother to save things,” Wayne explained in a 1995 interview with Marie Moneysmith for the Franklin Mint Almanac. “It wasn’t until 1976 that it occurred to me that we had nothing — no posters, no lobby cards, none of the paper that’s usually associated with a movie. And that’s when I started collecting.”

Wayne focused his search solely on items from his father’s career. In addition to purchasing pieces at auctions, memorabilia conventions, and yard sales, he received items from fans and well-wishers, eventually acquiring the world’s largest assortment of John Wayne memorabilia.

Hoping someday to donate his collection to a museum, Wayne was careful in preserving its assets. He had storage drawers specially designed, allowing posters to lie flat, separated by acid-free paper, rather than plastic sleeves. When not in rotation at The Wayne Collection, the portfolio is stored within temperature controlled vaults in Hollywood, California and is available to historians and scholars for research purposes.

John Wayne’s love for USC and the years he spent there as a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity made the university a natural choice for the collection. Gretchen Wayne decided to establish The Wayne Collection as a way to honor John Wayne’s contribution to filmmaking, as well as Michael Wayne’s efforts to preserve his father’s legacy.