Aretha Franklin tribute exhibit to launch in singer’s hometown of Detroit this week

A tribute honoring the late “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin is set to arrive at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the singer’s hometown of Detroit this week. The featured exhibit titled, “Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul,” will debut at the Museum on Tuesday, and runs throughout the fall and early winter months before closing on Jan. 21, a.k.a. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

According to Detroit Free Press, the intimate display should act as an educational and loving tribute to Franklin, who died back on Aug. 16 following an incredible life as a musical pioneer and feminist American icon. The exhibit will not be too extensive and will be mostly comprised of photos and videos from Franklin's personal and professional life from decades in the public eye. The intimate arrangement will take place in the Museum’s Coleman Young Exhibitions Room in hopes of re-creating the comfort and intimacy similar to the feeling of “walking into a living room,” according to Museum board member Kelly Major Green.

“The family had reached out to us for the visitation,” Green added in a statement about the exhibits quick planning timeline. “We began to talk about how we could be in service to them. It was important to the family that we be able to move quickly.”

Franklin’s estate are also hoping that the memorial display will set the groundwork for a much longer exhibit, possibly a traveling one, which is being planned for a potential arrival in 2020.

Some of the physical items to be featured in the display include Franklin’s first recording with an original vinyl of the 1956 J.V.B. Records' “Never Grow Old,” in addition to the visitation dress and shoes worn by the singer during the historic two-day public viewing in Detroit at the same Museum in the days following her passing. Personal items and materials will be rotated in and out during the term of the exhibit in hopes that the constant change and evolution reflects “the same ever-changing dynamics that marked the singer's own life.”

More information on the exhibit can be found by visiting its page on the Museum’s official website, while local news coverage of the soon-to-be-opened tribute can be watched above. Preview photos can also be seen by clicking here.