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Warner Bros. Donates ‘Batman’ Mask to Smithsonian

Studio's items highlight the impact of superhero myths on American culture

Warner Bros. has donated more than 30 props and artifacts, many from superhero flicks, to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
Spanning from 1942 to 2005, the donations include pieces from 13 films including the mask and cowl George Clooney donned for 1997’s “Batman and Robin” to Halle Berry’s Catwoman ensemble to Christopher Reeve’s suit from “Superman III.”
These and more props from Tim Burton films ranging from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to stop-motion puppets from “Corpse Bride” will be included in the museum’s permanent entertainment collections to illuminate how particular films and performances, particularly the mythos of the superhero, have affected American culture.
“Films are an integral part of this culture and of our daily lives, shaping how we perceive ourselves as Americans. The legacy of Warner Bros. is an important part of American history and these objects help us to tell that story,” said John Gray, director of the Smithsonian.
Following the donation, the museum will host the Bette Davis Film Festival this weekend. Featuring the iconic actress in Warner Bros. titles such as “Jezebel” and “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” the film fest is part of the museum’s Classic Film Festival Series and will commemorate Women’s History Month. The studio is also loaning objects from the films shown such as Jack Warner’s personal script of “Baby Jane,” which will be displayed in the Smithsonian’s entertainment exhibit, “You Must Remember This.”

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