Skip to main content

The City Journals

Bob Hope exhibit brings legend's life to Utah

Feb 01, 2018 10:45AM ● By Keyra Kristoffersen

Bob Hope: An American Treasure exhibit now on display at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center through April 2018. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)

Through April 2018, the Utah Cultural Celebration Center (1355 W. 3100 South) is hosting an exhibit from the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum on comedic legend Bob Hope. 

“It’s different than other things that we’ve had here before, more of a museum artifact exhibition rather than just featuring local artists and local cultural organizations,” said Michael Christensen of the UCCC. “It’s been a good exhibit.”

The exhibit has been on tour since 2007 and stays several months in each location around the country and came with four people to help install it. Nancy Day, the West Valley City director of Parks and Recreation was in St. Augustine, Fla. checking out the World Golf Hall of Fame when she found out about this exhibition. She made some calls to get on the circuit and bring the exhibit to Utah. To ensure that more people can experience the exhibit, the UCCC has temporarily extended their hours to Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. 

Downloading a free app gains access to 30-second to one-minute recordings that offer expanded material and insight than the limited space on the panels can offer, which Christensen is excited about because it’s not something they’ve ever had as part of an exhibit before.  

Among the exhibit’s pieces are photos, trophies and keepsakes from Hope’s long interest in golf, costume pieces from his various skits and acts in show business and memorabilia from his long history in the USO entertaining military troops around the world. The exhibit even includes Hope’s Academy Award and honorary degree from the Utah State University College of Humanities.

“It’s cool that they’ve tried to make it contemporary, too, with a section on what would Bob Hope be saying today if he were alive, conversations through Facebook, etc.,” said Christensen. 

The public has responded well and now that the holidays are freeing people’s schedules up, Christensen expects foot traffic to increase, not just the older generation but families coming and small children learning about the history of Bob Hope and comedy. 

“I remember watching the Christmas specials and reading all about his genius comedic timing,” said Christensen.