Rock exhibit highlights museum plans

LP museum plansBy JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – The city’s historical museum plans to keep rocking around the clock heading on the heels of a successful fundraiser to repair the iconic Verdin tower clock, with plans for a new exhibit from the classic rock era following last year’s tribute to native sons the MC5.

Museum Curator Jeff Day said that last month’s spaghetti dinner hosted by the Lincoln Park Moose Lodge generated more than $2,200 to offset repair costs for the landmark timepiece, which had been installed in 2002 but had fallen into disrepair last year. The museum’s annual giving campaign paid for initial evaluations, and the fundraiser provided the needed money to repair the clock.

Museum officials also announced a summer exhibit that, in many ways, began last year when homegrown rockers The MC5 were celebrated with an exhibit and tribute concert which featured founding member Dennis “Machinegun” Thompson on drums. Memorabilia from the radical group’s late-1960s heyday included work by another Lincoln Park High School alum, the late artist Gary Grimshaw.

As a friend and fellow artist of MC5 front man Rob Tyner, Grimshaw began carving out his own reputation in the late 1960s by designing psychedelic posters for the Grande Ballroom, where the MC5 served as house band.

Grimshaw’s renderings of the MC5 were included in last year’s special exhibit – pieces from which form the museum’s permanent display of the band – and Day said that an exhibit recreating Grimshaw’s home studio will open next month. A reception to launch the exhibit is tentatively scheduled for June 18.

Day said Grimshaw’s wife, Laura, graciously loaned the museum an assortment of photos, original posters and drawing desk that he’d used as one of the premiere rock ’n’ roll artists of his generation. Grimshaw passed away in 2014 after a career that ranked him among the top graphic artists in Detroit and San Francisco.

“It’s going to be very cool,” Day said of the exhibit. “Especially with the MC5 stuff we have, it’s a great tie in.”

Also opening this month at the museum is a timely tribute to U.S. presidential campaigns featuring nearly 200 items from the collection of West Bloomfield historian Morry Greener. Highlights from the exhibit include a campaign poster from the 1848 presidential bid by Michigan Sen. Lewis Cass, who lost to Zachary Taylor. A special reception to open the exhibit will be held beginning at 5 p.m. May 28.

For information on these and other programs contact the Lincoln Park Historical Museum at 313-386-3137 or go to www.lphistorical.org.
(James Mitchell can be reached at james.a.mitchell37@gmail.com.)