Nirvana Exhibit Announced For The Experience Music Project

The Experience Music Project (EMP) announced today the 2011 opening of the world’s most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries, Nirvana.

Curated by EMP’s Jacob McMurray, and featuring rare and unseen pieces from the band, their crews and families, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses will run April 16, 2011 – April 22, 2013.

Nirvana singer, songwriter and guitarist Kurt Cobain “was a visionary artist who touched people all over the world,” said Krist Novoselic, the band’s bassist and co-founder. “It’s great that there will soon be a collection that celebrates that contribution to music and culture.”

More than two years in the making, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses features 200 artifacts tied to the band, including:

  • Kurt Cobain’s never-before exhibited, high school painting of two aging, Reagan-era punks in the post-apocalypse, informally known as “punk American gothic.”
  • The Teac reel-to-reel tape machine owned by Mari Earl, Cobain’s aunt, on which a young Kurt recorded material for his early bands, Organized Confusion and Fecal Matter.
  • Cobain’s handwritten lyrics for Nirvana songs including “Spank Thru” and “Floyd the Barber.”
  • Numerous instruments, including pieces of the first guitar Cobain destroyed onstage (a Univox Hi-Flyer); Dave Grohl’s Tama Rockstar-Pro drum kit; and Krist Novoselic’s Guild acoustic bass guitar and Buck Owens American acoustic guitar used during the recording of “MTV Unplugged.”
  • The yellow cardigan worn often by Cobain between 1991 and 1994.
  • The winged angel stage prop featured on Nirvana’s In Utero tour.
  • Scores of candid snapshots capturing the band’s early years, from their beginnings in Aberdeen, Washington to the media frenzy that erupted after Nevermind.

“I’m really excited for Nirvana to be a touchstone for this exhibition – and especially proud that it’s happening at Experience Music Project,” Novoselic said. “In addition to their great work presenting artists and music, EMP has a comprehensive educational component that makes it so much more than ‘just a museum.’ It’s a technology-based invitation to anyone who might be interested – the more you’re interested in something, the more information on that topic becomes available.”

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