Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power is an exhaustive exhibition at the Henry Ford Museum that contains over 250 artifacts from 70 female artists. This stellar exhibit was curated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
The selected pieces range from the extraordinary to the “ordinary.” Highlights include everything from handwritten notes and lyrics to recognizable ensembles from stage performances and album covers.
Check out a handwritten to-do list written by Madonna, who reminds herself to buy a birthday gift and call Mike Myers about an SNL appearance. Then there’s Aretha Franklin’s note that was once posted on her dressing room door- telling visitors to slide a record under the door if they need to get her attention.
Notice the intricate detail of a stunning black and white beaded dress, as it hangs in perfect condition behind the glass case. The dress was worn by the Supremes.’ Another notable ensemble is also on view: Cher’s infamous tribal outfit designed by Bob Mackie, complete with an original sketch and head-to-toe feather headdress.
One-of-a-kind costumes include Detroit’s own Meg White; see the over-the-hop creation from the Icky Thump album cover. The head-to-toe garb is covered with swirls of buttons.
Seeing the handwritten words of Stevie Nick’s song “Stand Back” will give you goosebumps. The demo was recorded in a hotel room while she was on her honeymoon, and Prince stood in as a session musician when the time came to record the actual track.
Then there’s the set list written by Linda Ronstadt for a 70s tv show and scribbled lyrics from Janelle Monae’s song “57821.”
These pieces and more represent a wide spectrum of musicians that each contributed a piece of history to our culture.