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Powerhouse Museum’s Jackson exhibit becomes a shrine

Powerhouse Museum’s Jackson exhibit becomes a shrine
July 3, 2009

A Michael Jackson display in the foyer of Sydney's Powerhouse Museum has been turned into a shrine by fans who, in just a week, have nearly filled the book with messages and have left flowers and a card.

Within five hours of the announcement of Michael Jackson's death, the official crew jacket from the 'Bad' tour in 1987 was put out on display in the Museum's main foyer as a tribute to the 'King of Pop'. The monogrammed jacket was donated by the Museum's staff member Adam Takesce, it having been given to him during the Jackson's 'Bad' tour while he worked for CBS records.

The display also included a Michael Jackson doll, swap cards, the Thriller album cover and a condolence book for visitors to write messages in while the Powerhouse's website supported the Museum exhibit with a piece about Jackson in Erika Dicker's Object of the Week blog.

The Museum's marketing department sent out a press release attracting instant media attention, from extensive national coverage on the ABC, TV channels 7, 9, and 10 and Peter Cox gave five radio interviews that linked to the forthcoming 80s exhibition.

The Powerhouse Museum's actions were inspired by 'agent for change' Elaine Gurian, author of the book The Blue Ocean Museum. Gurian describes "museums as soup kitchens" that need to serve the needs of their community. She suggested museums needs to find a balance between thinking like a media agency (reacting to events in society) and behaving like a social commentator (interpreting these events from a distance). This way people will look up to museums in times of change.


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