Requiem for the Liberace Museum


Economic depression is the enemy of the fabulous. When the Dow plunges, the first things to be jettisoned are signs of ostentatious wealth: spangles, sequins, and bling-bling. Ridiculous gold-plated musical instruments and/or toilets are suddenly out of fashion. We shed no tears at the dearth of diamonds on household objects, nor did we rend our garments when P. Diddy had to fly on a regular plane instead of his private jet. But this, dear readers, strikes a blow to the tacky, glitter-loving, Bob Mackie-worshiper in us all: the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas announced today that it’s closing its doors on October 17 due to poor ticket sales.

The majority of Liberace’s ostrich-feathered outfits and bedazzled instruments will be tucked away for a brighter day, while a select few will go on traveling exhibits. But the temple to excess and fashion extravagance will be no more. In memoriam, we’ve collected some of the most bejeweled, spang-tacular images of items from the Valentino Liberace collection. Flip through them and weep, after the jump.

This mirrored Rolls Royce has horses etched onto the side. It appears alongside a rhinestone-embellished Rolls and Liberace’s red, white, and blue Rolls.

The classic rhinestone piano, in all of its glory.

Why yes, that is a pink feathered duster coat, and not a relative of Snuffaluffagus.

Liberace’s famous lucite-lidded Baldwin grand piano. This is one of 18 pianos on display at the museum.

A roadster that is somehow both disco-ball mirrored and pink. Liberace used to make his stage entrance in a series of exotic one-of-a-kind cars.

A shot of the outside of the museum at night, complete with neon and enormous faux-sheet music.

Liberace’s piano tuxedo. Note the subtly (sort of) placed treble clefs.

The museum’s costume collection boasts this famed red, white, and blue hotpants costume, as well as an array of mink capes, feathered coats, and crazily-elaborate stage jewelry.

Red sequined kicks — you don’t think he would have neglected the shoe-glitter, do you? Viva Liberace!