Nearly a half-century after the Supremes conquered the airwaves and rose to international stardom, the group's historic imprint on American culture, women's history, music and fashion is recognized through a new exhibit, "Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection." The showcase, running at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) was conceived by Wilson, an original member of the Supremes, and will feature over 30 of the Supremes' most glamorous gowns.
In addition to the group's stunning gowns, "Come See About Me" will feature rarely seen video footage, gold records and album covers, historic photographs and contemporary magazine and news articles. Wilson's determined journey toward self-actualization — a story of universal relevance for women of all ages and backgrounds-will be a key theme of the presentation as well.
“For me, I think I was born to do this,” said Wilson during a press preview. “And to make it my livelihood, as well as my happiness and joy as a human being. I am one of those people that has always been happy. But the music has given me a real source of why I am happy. It's one of those things, it's not about the money, it's about me as a human being and why I am here. All the roads from singing have led me into so many areas, so I am able to explore myself as a woman, a mother and as a teacher. And, I'm teaching myself, too. I've found a way to be able to learn about myself through my music.”
Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, noted expert in popular culture including music, and professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University, has been engaged as the guest curator for the exhibit at AAMP.
"The gowns tell the story of an important era: the Supremes and the society that the Supremes helped to transform,” noted Neal. “The Supremes embodied style, class and integrity at a time when those were some of the only things that African-Americans could legitimately claim in American society. The grace and confidence that the Supremes personified would inspire a nation and continue to serve as a shining example of modern Black womanhood-American womanhood."
The exhibit features the Supremes' historic imprint on American pop culture of the 1960s and ’70s, and during the turbulent civil rights era. “The Supremes' legacy changed the face of music and we are thrilled to host Mary Wilson's exhibit, including the many costumes she has preserved over the years,” said AAMP President and CEO Romona Riscoe Benson.
"Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Legacy Collection" will exhibit at the African American Museum in Philadelphia from Jan. 25, 2013 to June 30, 2013. For more information about the exhibit, visit http://aampmuseum.org/.