DETROIT (WJBK) - The Detroit museum that hosted Aretha Franklin's public visitations after her death is again holding space for her - this time with an exhibit featuring photographs, videos and the red shoes she wore at the first funeral viewing that drew global attention.
Billed as a "tribute to the Queen of Soul," ''THINK" opened to the public Tuesday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The show is a prelude what the museum envisions is a larger, long-term exhibit that would debut late next year or in early 2020.
The exhibit uses art and photography to showcase her life as a musician, civil rights activist and even fashion icon.
The images and artifacts span her life - among them a photo of her birth home in Memphis, Tennessee, a framed copy of the first record she cut in her longtime home of Detroit and a close-up shot of her singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. It also includes images captured by The Associated Press during her visitations, funeral and interment.
Given how recently she died, museum officials say it was important to capture and present some of those elements "of residual grief and love" for the inaugural exhibit.
"I'm at a loss for words, my heart is heavy," producer Montez Miller says. "Somebody told me I should be on cloud nine, that I should be really, really happy. I'm happy, but I'm sad because I loved and appreciate the opportunity that Ms. Franklin gave to me." She worked with Franklin during her first performance at the BET Network. She says the exhibit is "fit for a queen."
The exhibit runs through January 21, 2019, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Admission to the museum is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and children.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report