Rolling Stones’ ‘Exhibitionism’ Opens in New York City


Rolling Stones’ ‘Exhibitionism’ Opens in New York City

–Joe Lund

The Rolling Stones’ much-anticipated career-spanning museum exhibit opened in New York City just one week ago, and already it’s garnering rave reviews. Titled “Exhibitionism,” the ambitious project showcases more than 500 items of memorabilia, and traces the band’s journey from struggling musicians in the early ‘60s to their pinnacle as “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” “It’s really a thematic exploration of their career,” explains curator Ileen Gallagher, as reported by Rolling Stone. “So we can explore in-depth their influence on fashion, film, music videos, recording, and art and design.”rolling_stonesex6

The project, which was showcased in London this past spring, involved a year-and-a-half spent assembling and curating artifacts. Most of the items came from the band members themselves, but collectors pitched in with prized memorabilia as well. Instruments, costumes, handwritten lyrics, artwork and a “recreation” of London’s Olympic Studios, where the Stones recorded their debut single, are among the items available for viewing.


There’s even a reconstruction of the London flat that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones shared in the early ‘60s. “Keith had a couple things; for instance, his diary from 1963, which was an amazing artifact from the time,” notes Gallagher. “Charlie [Watts] had a toy drum kit that he used on ‘Street Fighting Man’ that he loaned to the exhibition. So we did get some very personal items.”


Other highlights include ten of Jagger’s harmonicas, the 1972 Telecaster played by Richards on “Sympathy for the Devil,” and Brian Jones’ dulcimer. In addition, one room is devoted to the stage wear used by the band through the years – including Jagger’s famous omega shirt and his many jumpsuits.


“He really embraced the jumpsuit look in the ’70s,” observes Gallagher. “He just thought it was a comfortable and cool look. He did a lot of work with Ossie Clark, who also designed the omega shirt that he wore in the 1975 concert at Madison Square Garden, and the black and red cape that he wore over it quite a bit.”

A recreation of the Stones’ backstage area, a section devoted to how the band’s album covers were made, and a new film in which Martin Scorsese explores the various film documentaries and concert footage of the Stones is available for viewing as well. Gallagher characterized the exhibit as a labor of love for everyone involved. “The band members absolutely loved it, thank God,” she says. “It was very gratifying, because they really came through and they were really quite pleased with how it turned out.”rolling_stones_exbackstage

“Exhibitionism” will run from November 12, 2016 through March 12, 2017, at Industria, in New York City’s West Village. For more information, click here.