Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star
January 13 - July 3, 2011
CIBC Canadian Film Gallery
This exhibition is currently on tour.
McCord Museum, May 3 to October 8, 2012

For availability, please contact: Jennifer Matotek, Senior Coordinator, Exhibitions,

Curator: Sylvia Frank, Director, TIFF Film Reference Library

'Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star' chronicles the life and career of a great Canadian who earned worldwide acclaim as one of the first and brightest stars of silent cinema. Though made famous as "America's Sweetheart", Mary Pickford was born in Toronto and remained a proud Canadian all her life, never claiming American citizenship.
Mary Pickford's career as an actress began at the age of six, following the death of her father. Although apprehensive about her first audition for the "flickers", Pickford soon became enamoured of this fledgling art form. More than a movie star, Pickford was also an industry pioneer – as her own producer and a co-founder of United Artists, she was one of the most powerful women in a Hollywood ruled by men — and one of the first "celebrities" as we understand the term today, endorsing products, influencing fashion, and inspiring global adoration.
The exhibition was made possible through an extraordinary donation to the TIFF Film Reference Library by Rob Brooks, whose outstanding 1900-piece Pickford collection includes photographs, posters, lobby cards, memorabilia, postcards, heralds, glass slides, products endorsed by Pickford, and hundreds of other rare and never-before-seen items that celebrate a beloved industry pioneer who rose to international celebrity.

‘Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star’
From the Rob Brooks Mary Pickford Collection
Installation view
Photo: Tom Arban, 2011