The Nell Shipman Exhibit
The Doctors House Victorian Museum Presents the Nell Shipman Exhibit
Welcome to a tour of the landmark 1890 museum in Glendale, California, featuring
silent filmmaker Nell Shipman, who rented the house from 1917 to 1920. The museum
derives its name from four doctors and their families who lived here in succession
during Glendale's early history. Originally located at 921 East Wilson, the Queen-Anne/Eastlake
house was moved to Brand Park in 1980 and restored by The Glendale Historical Society
with support from the city.
Canadian-born Nell Shipman starred in, wrote, directed and/or independently produced
movies from 1912 to 1925. The most popular were outdoor adventures noted for strong,
self-willed heroines, breathtaking scenery and the inspired use of trained wild
animals. Interest in her life and work has resulted in academic research, numerous
magazine articles, a feature story on television's "Entertainment Tonight,"
and the showing of her films in festivals from Berkeley to Paris.
The tour will highlight some of the professional and personal events of the years
she lived in the house with her parents, husband and son, Barry Shipman, who became
a prolific screenwriter. Barry (1912-1994) notified The Glendale Historical Society
that the restored museum was his one-time home and generously provided information
for the exhibit. According to Barry, Nell chose the home in Glendale to please her
parents, who came from upper-middle-class British families, loved the Victorian
style and couldn't get used to Hollywood's faster, more "modern" way of
We'd like to acknowledge Boise State University, from which we obtained many of
the materials for the exhibit. Due primarily to the efforts of Tom Trusky, an English
professor and director of the Hemingway Western Studies Center, BSU published Shipman's
autobiography, The Silent Screen & My Talking Heart, and maintains
an archive of her films, photographs, scripts, letters, and other documents.
Return to Glendale History page
Last modified: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 2:50:35 PM