By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mega-star R&B divas, The Supremes are coming to Philadelphia. It’s part of a new exhibit at the African-American Museum of Philadelphia scheduled to launch in January.
Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection will feature more than 30 of the Supremes glorious gowns, videos, images and artifacts that tell of the meteoric rise of one of the most famous African American groups of all time.
“The gowns were only a backdrop for what was going on here in America,” says Mary Wilson, an original member of the trio.
Wilson conceived the idea of the showcase and says The Supremes broke barriers during a tumultuous time in American civil rights history.
“We helped to show the faces of black people,” she says. “We helped to show the faces of black women. We traveled all over the world in the 1960’s and we did not see a lot of faces of women in the workplace.”
The exhibit is made possibly by a PNC Arts Alive Grant, a five year, $5 million initiative through the PNC foundation.
“The arts provide a wonderful way to connect one another and Philadelphia has a rich heritage,” says PNC Bank regional president Bill Mills. “PNC has a rich history of embracing the arts. We’ve always believed that engagement in the arts builds stronger and more vibrant communities.”
AAMP President Romona Briscoe Benson says the Mary Wilson Collection is expected to draw millions of people from all over the region.
“The African American Museum is preparing for a block buster experience, one that we hope will bring many and varied people through our doors,” she says. “The story of the Supremes appeals to such broad audience.”
The exhibit will feature Supremes designers, including Bob McKee, Motown dance choreographers and the groomers who turned hopefuls into superstars.
Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection will run from January 25th to June 30th, 2013.