Women Who Rock: A provocative exhibition in Washington DC

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Short news:  from September 7 until January 2013, you can visit the ‘Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power’ exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. It was put together by, and previously on display at,  the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio (see our previous post). The exhibition features objects, dresses, videos of several iconic female singers such as Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Cher, Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin and many more. See the photo above of two of Tina’s dresses.

“Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power is a provocative exhibition that illustrates the importance of women in the world of popular music from the 1920s to present day […] Featuring more than 250 artifacts and performance videos, the exhibition moves through rock-and-roll eras, demonstrating how women have been engines of creation and change.”

Thanks to Alan for the tip!

7 Replies to “Women Who Rock: A provocative exhibition in Washington DC”

  1. Sigh. I saw this exhibit last year and while it was nice to see two of Tina’s dresses and the original sheet music for River Deep, Mountain High there was no real depth to the show. The people who vote musicians into the Hall of Fame are infamously known for their sexism and this exhibit certainly demonstrates that they don’t take women seriously. Unlike the in dpeth coverage of male acts like The Stones, Beatles, Elvis, Bob Dylan that permeates the museum this exhbit focusses on sadly only a very small group of women and the clothes they wore. In some instances (like for example Dusty Springfield) they are regulated to an album cover posted on a wall.
    Even in the rest of the museum, there is very little evidence of the role women played in Rock history. For example, in the Motown exhbit the men (in particular Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye) get all the attention while Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, Mary Welles, Gladys Knight get a token mention. A film that discusses the creation of Rock n Roll doesn’t even mention any of the women (Dinah Washington, Bessie Smith, etc) that were major influences on the genre.
    I was on a road trip to Chicago so I got the chance to go to the exhbit. I certainly would not reccomend making a special trip to Cincinatti. It’s not worth it.


    1. Thanks Donald for your honest opinion, I’m not surprised at all. I have always felt that not only Tina has never gotten the credit she deserves but lots of female singers from all other genre’s havent either. When I was much youger, I could’nt understand why, the american audience and tv and radio people could not feel what I felt when I saw Tina turner and hear her sing. I actually thought after awhile, there was something wrong with me. I have always been a fan and will always be. I still listen to her music past and present and also, watch her concert and music videos. I’m just happy I hung around long enough to see her success and see her happy. Unfortunately, away from America.


    2. Thanks for you sharing your feeling about this exhibition with us Donald. I am sure someday (i don’t see that coming anytime soon) when Tina won’t be around here anymore, there will be a real exhibition or a memorial thing about Tina. And if nobody does it, well then it will be up to us, the fans, to make sure that Tina’s legacy survives!


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