Vincent Leonard Price (1911 - 1993) was a true 'Renaissance Man.' Born to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, he found the finer things of life easily within his grasp; and he took full advantage of them! By now, practically everyone has heard the story (true) about how Vincent purchased his first art object -- a Rembrandt etching -- on the installment plan at age 12. By the time of his death in 1993, he'd assembled one of the most spectacular personal art collections in the world. Add to this his interests in Native American culture, world cuisine, American history, great literature, as well as his most famous role as performer on stage, screen and the airwaves, and you have one of the most remarkable people of the 20th Century. His passion for living and for experiencing all that life had to offer was made all the more passionate by his desire to share those experiences with everyone around him, strangers included. He was a teacher in the truest sense, and -- to me -- an inspiration.

Everything you see on this website, unless specifically noted is from my personal collection.  I hope you enjoy your visit!

Left: That's me, in the late 1970s, happily receiving two original Vincent Price posters for my birthday.

 

The ticket on the left is from the first time I saw Vincent Price in person.  I was 15 years old, and the lecture he delivered about his career is something I'll always remember!

I saw him again, in person, three more times, finally meeting him after the show in 1981.  He was every bit as gracious and friendly as I'd hoped, and took his time greeting everyone who waited to see him.

 

I was such a Price nerd at 14 that I begged my parents to buy me American International Pictures stock for my birthday! Program and ticket for the last appearance I saw. I also saw him perform his greatest stage role.

For those who might be interested, I'm including several of my most prized personal objects in this exhibit: selected pieces of correspondence from Mr. Price to myself. After having seen him in person for the first time in March of 1972 (he was lecturing nearby), I wrote to him. Upon not hearing back from him, I (in my 15-year-old conceit) wrote him a scolding letter, saying that I was disappointed in him as a gentleman for not having written back....

I first received this postcard, apologizing to me for not having written back. I felt properly embarrassed! Looking back on it now, I realize that he and wife Mary were probably separating at this time.
I was even more embarrassed when, a few months later, I received this wonderful inscribed photo. Mr. Price, I realized, was more of a gentleman than I had ever suspected!
I pestered him again, some time later, and received this wonderful postcard.

There was something so wonderful about receiving a work of art (even if it was a postcard) from Vincent Price!
Thinking of starting a picnic catering business around 1980, I wrote to him asking what his idea of a good picnic was. This was his response.
My final correspondence from Vincent Price was this neat letter written while he was performing Diversions and Delights in New York. The use of the word "again" made me realize that he remembered me!
When Vincent Price died, in 1993, I was deeply saddened. I was also frustrated that our local film journalists devoted precious little time to memorializing this fine gentleman. So, partly as therapy, I wrote a letter to the Rochester 'Democrat & Chronicle' newspaper. I was astonished when they printed the following...

Click on image to enlarge

 

The biggest thrill of my life came in March of 2007, when I was contacted by a producer working with Fox/MGM on some 'extras' to be included in a 5-disc DVD set of Vincent Price films (including the never-before-released restored version of Witchfinder General).  He wanted me to participate in a couple of short pieces on Price, his coworkers and, specifically, Witchfinder General itself.

On April 9th, a film crew, along with film producer and NYU professor Cathrine Kellison came to our home for the interviews.  What a thrill!  My only regret is that the long sequences of 'talking heads' weren't broken up with the many images from my collection that I had scanned for the production.  I was, however, humbled when I saw the other participants -- the gentlemen pictured on your left!

I hope you'll enjoy your visit to my virtual museum.  Please let me know what you think!

 

The Vincent Price Exhibit

Created May 27, 2009, Richard D Squires.