Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Aretha Franklin: ‘Tribute’ Exhibit to Open At Detroit Museum

*A new show at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit aims to celebrate Aretha Franklin’s life in an intimate display dubbed a “tribute to the Queen of Soul.”

The estate-approved “Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul” arrives at the museum this Tuesday and will exhibit until January 21st, 2019.

“This is an opportunity for people to come back and engage, reminisce and reflect,” Wright museum board member Kelly Major Green told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s the beginning of a much longer expression of who Aretha is.”

According to Page Six, the exhibit will feature wardrobe, shoes, video displays and photos from throughout Franklin’s career, including a copy of the first-ever recording Franklin released, a 1956 vinyl of “Never Grow Old” by “Aretha Franklin, Daughter of Rev. C.L. Franklin.”

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“My aunt used to always talk about having a Franklin family museum,” Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, told The Associated Press. “That’s not on the immediate horizon, but I thought this would be a good start to it.

The Charles H. Wright Museum previously hosted Franklin’s public visitations following her death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. In addition to the “crimson satin pumps,” the exhibit includes a replica of the matching red dress she wore at the viewing.

“We’re trying to continue from the viewing the emotional experience we witnessed — see the emotional connection people had with the Queen and allow people to feel that,” said George Hamilton, the Wright’s interim CEO.

Over the exhibit’s four-month tenure at the museum, curators will rotate items in and out of display to “reflect the same ever-changing dynamics that marked the singer’s own life,” the Detroit Free Press writes.

“This mirrors the way she was — keep on adding things to a collection, giving people something different to look forward to — just goes along with who she was as a person,” Owens said. “She just always wanted to change, keep herself relevant.”

The Franklin estate is also planning a long-term exhibit dedicated to the music icon to be housed at an undetermined location in 2020.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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