Monday, June 17, 2024

Rock Hall Unveils “Revolutionary Women in Music: Left of Center”

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame unveiled its new exhibit, “Revolutionary Women in Music: Left of Center” in time for International Women’s Day. The exhibit’s name is a nod to the song by singer Suzanne Vega. Left of Center celebrates women from multiple genres, decades and generations who have shaped the music industry. The exhibit was curated by the Rock Hall’s VP of Curatorial Operations, Shelby Morrison, as well as Director of Curatorial Affairs, Amanda Pecsenye. 

“As the saying goes, well-behaved women rarely make history – and revolutionary women have often used music and lyrics to take action, convey truth, and call for change,” said Morrison. “For generations, women have fought against socially constructed gender norms to obtain equal social, political, and economic freedoms, and this exhibit, which has been decades in the making, will tell this story in a way that has never been done before.”

Photo by Tessa Smith / Courtesy of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

While walking through the exhibit, visitors can see artifacts from the Rock Hall’s vault and never-before-seen items from artists’ personal collections. Some highlights include the entirety of Natalie Merchant’s “Ophelia” video costumes, Christina Aguilera’s tour wardrobe from her “Stripped” world tour, pieces from Liz Phair, Queen Latifah, Ani DiFranco, Sleater-Kinney, Joan Jett, Paramore, Billie Eilish and more. 

For the exhibit’s opening, the Rock Hall hosted a special edition of Rock Hall Nights. During the dedication, Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris and Shelby Morrison welcomed four special guests to the stage. They were Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Lisa Loeb, and Malina Moye. Each woman took a few moments to speak on the impact of being a woman in an industry that has been dominated and run by men. 

“With Revolutionary Women, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is attending to some important and urgent work,” said Shirley Manson. “This really is something good. Something necessary and long overdue. I come here to pay my respects. And to acknowledge the significant work of all the brilliant, formidable female musicians who have come before me, upon whose mighty shoulders I stand.” 

Photo by Amber Patrick / Courtesy of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Wiedlin had the audience tearing up as she recited America Ferrera’s Barbie monologue. The event also included two very special performances. During the private dedication, guitar virtuoso Malina Moya ripped through her tune, “F.I.N.E”. On the main stage, Lisa Loeb performed a brief set, including the hit “Stay” on its 30th anniversary.

Additionally, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is featuring women-owned merchandise in its gift shop throughout March, for Women’s History Month. Some of the companies included are Axe Heaven, Chuckles & Bleu, Daydreamer, Rowdy Sprout, and Tees4Togo.

To grab tickets to see “Revolutionary Women in Music: Left of Center”, visit https://www.rockhall.com.

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