Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses
The world's most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries, Nirvana.
In late 1991, Nirvana exploded on the national music scene, transforming Seattle and the Pacific Northwest from a faraway backwater to the epicenter of popular music culture. Nirvana's infectious single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," saturated the airwaves and MTV, sparking a worldwide grunge revolution, extinguishing the rule of hair metal, and giving birth to alternative rock.
Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses explores the public and personal story of a single band, but it also invites visitors to discover the underground music scene in which Nirvana developed. Featuring more than 150 iconic instruments, original poster artwork, photographs, albums, films of performance footage, and 100 new and archived oral histories from key figures in the independent music scene (including Nirvana band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic), the exhibit introduces the world's most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries, Nirvana. Three interactive kiosks allow visitors to access a plethora of topics that range from the macroscopic (different national music scenes), to the microscopic (specific clubs, bands, and events).
“Nirvana’s Gen X image belied the typical rock star stance—they wore regular clothes gave props to other underground bands, and stuck up for the freaks, geeks, and outcasts everywhere. Instead of creating a barrier between the fans and themselves, they indicated by their affect and actions that they ultimately were one of us.”
EMP Senior Curator and author of the exhibit companion book Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind.