The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Rolling Stones exhibit opening weekend showcases new artifacts

Making its Chicago debut, the first ever major exhibition for one of history’s most influential bands, The Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism, debuted at Navy Pier last week, bringing Rolling Stones memorabilia, artwork and outfits from the band through their five decades together.

From the early days of living together in a tiny flat to headlining some of the biggest stages in the world, the band’s evolution is on full display in a way that intrigues fans new and old.

Starting in London, the Rolling Stones’ exhibit came to the U.S. last year, stopping in New York City before making its way to Chicago.  Originally curated and produced by the Australian-based iEC Entertainment, the show has evolved since its start in London to include more relics of the band for guest’s to interact with.

The four-month long engagement covers all things Stones — the bands history and influence in fashion, film, design and the recording processes for their hit albums.

Covering 18,000 square-feet and nine thematic gallery spaces, the exhibit gives guests an introductory course into The Rolling Stones and leaves little of their history out of reach. Quotes from band members and other big figures who worked with them throughout their career, line the walls making a physical tour guide unnecessary. The band, through these quotes, images and artifacts, tells you everything you really need to know about them.

The new Rolling Stones exhibit, Exhibitionism, tells the story of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. Located at Navy Pier, the exhibit runs through July 30 and showcases new art, clothing and artifacts from the Rolling Stones. (Jesus Montero / The DePaulia)

The exhibit was curated with the full participation of the band’s most visible figures, Mick Jagger and  Keith Richards, as well as Charlie Watts and Ronnie Woods.

Breaking boundaries throughout their career, The Rolling Stones have been on the forefront of history with their music. Exhibitionism showcases this with private archives with more than 500 rare items exploring the Stone’s from the very beginning.

The exhibit lets visitors experience the band’s highs and lows. Even those who may not know much about the band’s music or history will find something interesting at the exhibit since it focuses on all aspects of the band — their interests in fashion, film, art and other topics — not just their music.

Over 190 original works of art and design galleries are all on display featuring some of the world’s most well renowned photographers, contemporary artists and designers. Original works include the likes of Andy Warhol and “Gimme Shelter,” which chronicled the band’s ill-fated free concert at Altamont Speedway in 1969, to a 2012 documentary on the Stones’ live performances and career by Martin Scorsese.

Fans, with the help of a paired AV tour guide, will walk through details of the band that have never been seen before.

A recreated flat that band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones shared in 1962 starts off the tour.

Along the way, guests are lead through more defining moments. Handwritten lyrics sheets are in one room, vintage guitars and contracts are in another.

Throughout the tour, fans will see what went on behind the scenes for some of the band’s biggest moments. This massive collection of music history is the largest touring exhibition with nearly 18,000 square feet. The experience concludes with a 3D concert of the Stones.

Curator IIeen Gallagher was part of the curating process. It was Gallagher’s job to choose the right items to showcase by deciding what story they told through the exhibit.

Gallagher was given access to an archive the band has outside of London. Gathering items there, Gallagher was excited to see how Chicago would welcome Exhibitionism.

“I think it will be very well received in Chicago. The Stones came here their first time in America in 1964 so they really kind of have a soft spot in their heart for Chicago.”  Gallagher said. “It’s really meaningful to them also because of the blues history in the city.”

Narrowing the stories to the objects, certain experiences come back to fans from moments of the career of the Stones.

“I think when people go through it they kind of relive their past. When you hear the music and see some of the iconic outfits, you’re kind of rolled back in time.” Gallagher said about the experience. “When the band saw the exhibit they were even a little nostalgic about seeing everything together. They were quite pleased with it.”

Tickets for Exhibitionism are currently on sale. The exhibit runs through July.

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