Where’s Clarence When You Need Him? Jimmy Stewart Museum Faces Tough Times

Earlier this year saw the fall of the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, as it closed up shop for good after operating for more than 30 years. And while one celebrity-focused museum closing is difficult enough, two will make you feel even worse. The Wall Street Journal files this great, heartbreaking report from Indiana, Pennsylvania, home of The Jimmy Stewart Museum, which is dedicated to perhaps the town’s most famous native son (unless you’re more a fan of Edward Abbey or Renee Fleming, who also call it home). As has been the story throughout the museum industry, attendance is way down and as follows, so is operating income. To make matters worse, and again the same story at so many other institutions, the Journal reports that government funding for the museum has also been drastically reduced, perhaps down to nothing next year. While they still have some sources of revenue (the Stewart and Clooney families donate each year), the museum is worried that it just won’t be enough to keep them afloat. On a positive note, while Liberace didn’t exactly have a career-attached method of soliciting donations to keep the museum dedicated to him alive, Stewart has one of the most famous with It’s a Wonderful Life. So if you happen to watch the film this week (go turn on your television — we guarantee it’s on at least 3 channels right now) and the ending has you with a surplus of good will toward men feelings, here’s the museum’s donation page.