Ruby Slippers, Prince’s Guitar, Ali’s Boxing Dress and Selena’s Costume Among 200 Exhibits in ‘Entertainment Nation’/’Nación del espectáculo’ Opener December 9
WASHINGTON, December 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — From its red-carpeted entrance to a yellow brick road, the new “Entertainment Nation”/”Nación del espectáculo” exhibition December 9 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, will immerse visitors in the dramatic arc of the nation’s history told through the power and influence of theatre, television, film, music and sports. With approximately 200 objects, the 7,200 square foot multimedia exhibit in the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Hall of American Culture will be the Smithsonian’s first dedicated exploration of entertainment history. It will also be the largest long-term bilingual exhibit on the National Mall. Through iconic objects from the famous collection and graphics from the museum, engaging videos and stories, “Entertainment Nation”/”Nación del espectáculo” will show how Americans have long used entertainment to elicit pleasure and understand different points of view. seen.
The public will be captivated by the objects of cultural creators such as Mohamed Ali and Ali Wang who broke barriers, Tejana singer Selena, star wars‘ C-3PO and R2-D2 and the enduring magical attraction of the Ruby Slippers and the charm of the early Muppets. Immersive state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos surround sound will enhance the experience with a custom playback system designed to transport museum visitors into the thrilling world of cinema.
“The power of American entertainment lies in the rich diversity and power of its voices,” said Anthea M. Hartig, Ph.D., director Elizabeth MacMillan of the museum. “For generations, artists and athletes have used their platforms to reveal and respond to the country’s many struggles, challenge injustice and create change. As the nation’s flagship and largest history museum, we are ready to help the public better understand the value, role and influence of entertainment in the broadest sense.”
Never-before-seen items include a pair of sneakers Fred Roger was about Mr. Rogers’ neighborhooda tie commemorating 15 victims of police brutality worn by the former NFL player Randy Mossthe suit Ellen Degeneres worn to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, guitars from music legends Prince, Jose Feliciano, Toby Keith and Paul Simonan astrologer and television personality cape Walter Mercado and by Michelle Yeoh Star Trek: Discovery suit.
More than a dozen artifact showcases, including one featuring the Ruby Slippers, are designed to highlight compelling examples of how entertainment has shaped important conversations about society and politics.
Made possible by a primary donation from the Dolby Family as naming and Dolby Laboratories as exclusive audio sponsor and with the support of Tom and Karen Rutledgethe exhibition also received support from the History Channel, Stephanie Bennett-SmithPh.D, American Cruise Lines, Anonymous, Linda and Mike Curbthe Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Barry and Wendy Meyer. Additional support was provided by Andrew and Anya Shiva, The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, The Jane Henson Foundation, Wine and Erica Di Bona, Don and Maggie Buchwald, Kiki Ramos Gindler and David GindlerGoogleArts & Culture, Enrique and Alejandra Segura and Steve Tisch.
Visitors to the open-plan gallery can examine how various types of entertainment, from the 19th century to the present day, have sparked conversations. Three “micro-galleries” in the space will illuminate complex topics in comedy, music and television through artifacts and multimedia.
Accessibility, universal design, web and accompanying catalog
Designed by Reich & Petch and manufactured by the museum, the gallery features twinkling marquee lighting, a large continuous display along the perimeter with a chronological and thematic presentation of the history of entertainment, and multimedia screens that cascade to the ceiling, spanning the length of the gallery for a rendezvous in a big-screen media spectacle.
Many accessible features are found throughout the gallery, including open captioning for all media programs, assisted listening in two of the micro galleries and at the entrance, and visual descriptions in English and Spanish via QR codes that visitors can access using their own personal devices. There are six tactile bronze models (made from 3D scans) that visitors can also interact with through visual descriptions and QR codes. Five are life-size models, including the Ruby Slippers, Gertrude Ederle’s swimming goggles, a “Miracle on Ice” hockey glove, by Nipsey Hussle chains and pendants and a Wurlitzer tabletop jukebox. A reduced-size bronze bas-relief of a circus poster is also on display. Touchscreen navigation tablets are available on the terminals in front of five showcases of objects that are part of the micro-galleries on humour, music and television. A living replica of Prince’s ‘Yellow Cloud’ guitar offers visitors a photo opportunity in front of the case of the guitar he used in purple rain. The exhibition’s companion website will be expanded after opening with comprehensive and fully bilingual content. The companion book entertainment nation, expands the exhibition and provides insight into the most iconic, controversial and celebrated moments in pop culture history with nearly 225 objects and insightful essays. It was co-edited by Kenneth Cohen and John W. Troutman and published by Smithsonian Books.
Through unparalleled collections, rigorous research, and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum, located on Constitution Avenue NW between 12th and 14th Streets, is open daily except December 25th, between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Free entry. The doors to the museum are always open online, and the Virtual Museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibits, PK-12 educational materials, and programs. The public can follow the museum on social networks at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For more information, visit https://americanhistory.si.edu. For information about the Smithsonian, the public can call (202) 633-1000.
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SOURCE Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History