Monday, December 12, 2011

Autry Celebrates Michael Jackson in "How the West Was Worn"

Autry Museum

Michael Jackson at the Autry National Center? Not the first museum you would seek out for an exhibit about the late King of Pop. But the Autry is currently home to "How the West Was Worn by . . . Michael Jackson," an ongoing exhibit that "shows how Jackson’s use of Western wear evolved over the years, reflecting his ability to use classic Western styles in distinctive ways."

Autry Museum

Among the items on display, from the private collection of designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush: Jackson's red bib-front shirt with black trim; Black 501 Levi’s jeans; Black fedora hat; Aviator sunglasses; and, of course, one of his signature single white gloves. Some background from the Autry's blog:

Tompkins and Bush, who designed for Jackson for 25 years, spent several months working with Jeffrey Richardson, the Autry’s associate curator for film and pop culture, choosing items from the wardrobe of the King of Pop that were inspired by western themes. The costumes all went into a case in the Imagination gallery, which focuses on Hollywood’s interpretation of the West.

“The idea is to show people that Michael used western influences,” Richardson said. “That influence continues even if people don’t realize where the ultimate inspiration came from. It didn’t come from Michael. Michael was taking from other things.”


And here's a 2010 ABC "Good Morning America" story on the installation:



We recently visited the Autry during a free museum weekend (which the Autry frequently participates in -- take advantage of it). The Blogger Kid particularly enjoys the make-believe mid-20th century Chinese restaurant housed in the kids' area, while I enjoy the Hollywood western memorabilia (including a vintage TV Guide). A few more pics:

Autry Museum

Autry Museum

Autry Museum

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