Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum
The famous comedic actress’ hometown of Jamestown, New York, opened this museum dedicated to her and husband Desi Arnaz in 1996.
If you’re looking for a laugh this summer, plan a trip to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in upstate New York. The famous comedic actress’ hometown opened this museum dedicated to her and husband Desi Arnaz in 1996.
The museum is split into two galleries that feature different aspects of the couple’s life and career. The East Gallery focuses on artifacts, costumes and memorabilia from “I Love Lucy,” which premiered on CBS in 1951 and ran for six seasons. See some of the show’s famous sets re-created, and view the professor costume Ball wore during the pilot episode. You can even try your take of the “Vitameatavegamin” TV spot from the Season 1 episode “Lucy Does a Television Commercial,” complete with props.
The West Gallery tells the more personal side of the couple’s lives. Visitors can learn about their respective childhoods and how they ended up becoming television pioneers who revolutionized comedy. Artifacts in this gallery include Lucy’s 1972 Mercedes-Benz, family portraits and clothing.
The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum is affiliated with the nearby National Comedy Center, and dual admission tickets to both attractions are available. The center opened in 2018, and it displays interactive and personalized exhibits about the history of comedy. The inspiration came from Lucy herself; she wanted to see her hometown not just celebrating her, but all of comedy.
Also be sure to spend some time exploring Jamestown, where five large murals of the couple can be seen on the sides of buildings and a parking garage throughout the town. Grab a photo with the Lucy statue installed along Chautauqua Lake, and pay your respects by visiting the actress’ final resting place at Jamestown’s Lake View Cemetery.
2 W. Third St., Jamestown, New York, 716/484-0800, lucy-desi.com, comedycenter.org