An exhibit dedicated to the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin will open this week at a Detroit museum. Approved by the late singer’s estate, ‘Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul’ arrives at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History this Tuesday, 25 September and will exhibit until 21 January 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.”
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.”
The Charles H. Wright Museum previously hosted Franklin’s public viewing following the Queen of Soul’s death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. The “red, lace-trimmed ruffled suit and crimson satin pumps” that Franklin wore at the public viewing will display in the ‘Think’ exhibit.
The new exhibition came together quickly in the weeks following Franklin’s death. “The family had reached out to us for the visitation,” Green said. “We began to talk about how we could be in service to them. It was important to the family that we be able to move quickly.”
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.
“The Aretha mojo lives,” said Green. “People are still swept up in this. It’s a beautiful tribute. We want to learn and see some things that are more intimate and touching about her. This personalizes her in a little different way.”
The Aretha Franklin estate is also planning a long-term exhibit dedicated to the Queen of Soul housed at an as yet unannounced location in 2020.