The Museum is open Wednesday-Friday 10-5

Saturday-Sunday 12-5

The last tour is at 4pm


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George W. Headley III (1908-1985) was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1908 into a wealthy family. He grew up in Mississippi. Artistically inclined from an early age, Headley studied art at the Art Student's League in New York and l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He later apprenticed as a designer with the New York Jeweler Paul Flato in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Headley opened his own jewelry boutique in California at the Hotel Bel-Air. His account books of the time show that he designed for many of the Hollywood elite and their wives, including Douglas Fairbanks, Gary Cooper, the Marx Brothers, Vincent Minelli, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, and Fanny Brice.

After nearly a decade of success on the West Coast, Headley returned to his family farm, La Belle, in Lexington and continued his career designing jewelry and bibelots. Bibelots (pronounced "bib-loh") is French for knickknack or curio, and are small, ornate decorative objects of beauty rather than being functional pieces.

In 1960, Headley married Barbara Whitney Henry Peck (d. 1982), sister of noted thoroughbred horseman Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney (1899-1992) and daughter of the sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (d. 1942), founder of New York's Whitney Museum of American Art.

In 1968, Headley opened his distinctive Jewel Room and Library building on the scenic grounds of La Belle Farm. The museum complex was completed in the 1970s with the addition of the Shell Grotto and the main building.

We would like your participation!

Do you have any special memories with George? Help us celebrate George's life by reliving his passion and charm. Come out to the Headley-Whitney Museum and share your story with us.

Contact Lauren Hunter-Smith to set up an appointment or for more informtion.
859-255-6653 or



Headley-Whitney Museum
4435 Old Frankfort Pike - Lexington, KY 40510
Phone: 859-255-6653 - Fax: 859-255-8375
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