From the Scott and Zelda Museum:
The Scott and Zelda Museum in Montgomery will celebrate the opening of "The Great Gatsby" movie next weekend by offering half-off admission for visitors who bring in ticket stubs from the movie. The movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as the famed couple.
The new novel "Z" about Zelda and Scot's troubled marriage has also helped bring attention to the Fitzgerald museum. Author Therese Anne Fowler was at the museum two weeks ago for a lecture and book signing. The number of visitors to the museum has more than doubled from the same period last year said executive director Willie Thompson. "This is the only museum in the world dedicated to the Fitzgeralds," he said.
The museum takes up the first floor of the two-story clapboard and brick house in Old Cloverdale where the Fitzgeralds lived from 1931 to 1932. Local attorney Julian McPhillips saved the house from being demolished to build apartments in 1986. Fitzgerald worked on his novel Tender is the Night and Zelda began her only novel, Save Me the Waltz while living there, Thompson said.
Their meeting is described in "Z." The novelist first met the young socialite Zelda Sayre at a local country club dance when he was assigned to a military base here during World War I. Zelda had grown up in Montgomery as the youngest child of Alabama Supreme Court Judge Anthony Dickinson Sayre. The First White House of the Confederacy, another house museum in Montgomery, was formerly owned by a member of the Sayre family, Thompson says.
The character Daisy Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby" was based on Zelda and her life of privilege Thompson said. Zelda had broken off an early engagement with Fitzgerald after he was unable to convince her that he would be able to properly support her. She agreed to marry him only after his first novel, This Side of Paradise, was published.
As Fitzgerald's fame grew, the couple traveled the world becoming fixtures of the Jazz Age during the 1920's. They moved back to Zelda's hometown of Montgomery after a decade of living in New York and Europe in an attempt to gain some stability in their lives. He battled alcoholism throughout his life and Zelda was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized in Switzerland in 1932. She was hospitalized again in Baltimore, after the couple left Montgomery, in 1932. Zelda spent the rest of the thirties in mental hospitals, and Fitzgerald died in 1940 at the age of 44. Zelda died in 1948 at the age of 47 during a fire at the hospital where she was undergoing electroshock therapy.
The Scott and Zelda Museum has several notable pieces from both of the Fitzgeralds including rare printings of his novels and several of her art sketches and paintings. The museum will be the host site for the 12th International F. Scott Fitzgerald Society Conference in November.