The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP (previously called EMP Museum) is a nonprofit museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. It was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000 as the Experience Music Project. Since that time MoPOP has organized dozens of exhibits, 17 of which have toured across the US and internationally.
The museum—which used to be known as Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) and later EMP Museum until November 2016—has founded many public programs including "Sound Off!", an annual 21-and-under battle-of-the-bands that supports the all-ages scene; and "Pop Conference," an annual gathering of academics, critics, musicians, and music buffs.
MoPOP, in collaboration with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) presents the Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival, which takes place annually every winter at Seattle Cinerama Theater.
|Location||325 5th Avenue N|
|Type||Popular culture, music, science fiction, video games|
MoPOP is home to exhibits, interactive activity stations, sound sculpture, and various educational resources.
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame was founded by Paul Allen and Jody Patton and opened to the public on June 18, 2004. It incorporated the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame which had been established in 1996 (below). The museum was divided into several galleries with common themes such as "Homeworld," "Fantastic Voyages," "Brave New Worlds," and "Them!" Each gallery displayed related memorabilia (movie props, first editions, costumes, and models) in large display cases, posters, and interactive displays to sketch out the different subjects. "From robots to jet packs to space suits and ray guns, it's all here." Members of the museum's advisory board included Steven Spielberg, Ray Bradbury, James Cameron, and George Lucas. Among its collection of artifacts were Captain Kirk's command chair from Star Trek, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, the Death Star model from Star Wars, the T800 Terminator and the dome from the film Silent Running. Although the Science Fiction Museum as a permanent collection was de-installed in March 2011, a new exhibit named Icons of Science Fiction opened as a replacement in June 2012, at which time the new Hall of Fame display was unveiled and the class of 2012 inducted.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame was founded in 1996 by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (Kansas City, Missouri) and the Center for the Study of Science Fiction (CSSF) at the University of Kansas (KU). The chairmen were Keith Stokes (1996–2001) and Robin Wayne Bailey (2002–2004). Only writers and editors were eligible for recognition and four were inducted annually, two deceased and two living. Each class of four was announced at Kansas City's annual science fiction convention, ConQuesT, and inducted at the Campbell Conference hosted by CSSF.
The Hall of Fame stopped inducting fantasy writers after 2004, when it became part of the Science Fiction Museum affiliated with MoPOP, under the name "Science Fiction Hall of Fame". Having inducted 36 writers in nine years, in 2005 it began to recognize non-literary media. It retained the quota of four new members and thus reduced the annual number of writers. The 2005 and 2006 press releases placed new members in "Literature", "Art", and "Film, Television and Media", and "Open" categories, one each. In 2007 and 2008 the fourth inductee was placed in one of the three substantial categories.
MoPOP de-installed the Science Fiction Museum in March 2011. When the exhibition "Icons of Science Fiction" opened in June 2012, a new Hall of Fame display was unveiled and the class of 2012 inducted.
Nominations are submitted by the public but the selections are made by "award-winning science fiction authors, artists, editors, publishers, and film professionals."
MoPOP restored the original name online during June 2013 and announced five new members, one daily, beginning June 17. The first four were cited largely or wholly for science fiction but the last was J.R.R. Tolkien, "hailed as the father of modern fantasy literature".
The class of 2017 brings the number of members to 92, plus twenty extra added in 2016 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the museum.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the museum in 2016, twenty other creators and works inducted into the Hall of Fame:
In November 2016 EMP Museum announced a rebrand to Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP. In an email to current and past members, CEO and Director Patty Isacson Sabee wrote:
Spanning science fiction, fantasy, horror, fashion, sports, and video games, MoPOP reflects our vision for curating, exploring, and supporting the creative works that shape and inspire our lives.
MoPOP is located on the campus of Seattle Center, adjacent to the Space Needle and the Seattle Center Monorail, which runs through the building. The structure itself was designed by Frank Gehry and resembles many of his firm's other works in its sheet-metal construction, such as Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Gehry Tower. Much of the building material is exposed in the building's interior. The building contains 140,000 square feet (13,000 m2), with a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) footprint. The name of the museum's central Sky Church pays homage to Jimi Hendrix. A concert venue capable of holding up to 800 guests, Sky Church boasts 70-foot ceilings, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and a mammoth indoor HD LED screen. The last structural steel beam to be put in place bears the signatures of all construction workers who were on site on the day it was erected. Hoffman Construction Company of Portland, Oregon, was the general contractor. Magnusson Klemencic Associates of Seattle were the structural engineers for the project.
Even before groundbreaking, Seattle Weekly said the design could refer to "the often quoted comparison to a smashed electric guitar." Indeed, Gehry himself had made the comparison, "We started collecting pictures of Stratocasters, bringing in guitar bodies, drawing on those shapes in developing our ideas." The architecture was greeted by Seattle residents with a mixture of acclaim for Gehry and derision for this particular edifice. "Frank Gehry," remarked British-born, Seattle-based writer Jonathan Raban, "has created some wonderful buildings, like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, but his Seattle effort, the Experience Music Project, is not one of them." New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp described it as "something that crawled out of the sea, rolled over, and died." Forbes magazine called it one of the world's 10 ugliest buildings. Others describe it as a "blob" or call it "The Hemorrhoids". Despite some critical reviews of the structure, the building has been called "a fitting backdrop for the world's largest collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia." The outside of the building which features a fusion of textures and colors, including gold, silver, deep red, blue and a "shimmering purple haze," has been declared "an apt representation of the American rock experience."
The museum has had mixed financial success. In an effort to raise more funds, museum organizers used Allen's extensive art collection to create a 2006 exhibit within the confines of the MoPOP. The exhibit was entitled DoubleTake: From Monet to Lichtenstein. The exhibit included Roy Lichtenstein's The Kiss (1962), Pierre-Auguste Renoir's The Reader (1877), Vincent van Gogh's Orchard with Peach Trees in Blossom (1888), Pablo Picasso's Four Bathers (1921) and several works of art from Claude Monet including one of the Water Lilies paintings (1919) and The Mula Palace (1908). Since then the museum has organized numerous exhibitions focused more specifically on popular culture: Sound and Vision: Artists Tell Their Stories, which opened February 28, 2007, for example, brought together both music and science fiction in a single exhibit, and drew on the museum's extensive collection of oral history recordings. The museum's recent exhibitions have ranged from horror cinema, video games, and black leather jackets to fantasy film and literature.
Ana Mari Cauce (born January 11, 1956) is an American psychologist, college administrator and the 33rd and current president of the University of Washington. Cauce is the first permanent woman president, the first Latina to hold that office, and the first openly gay president of the University of Washington.Benjamin Saunders (professor)
Benjamin Saunders is a British-born academic and Program Director of the Comics and Cartoon Studies minor at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. He holds a Ph.D in English Literature from Duke University, a Masters in Philosophy in English Renaissance Literature from University of Cambridge and a Batchelor of the Arts degree with First Class Honors from the University of East Anglia.Build (developer conference)
Microsoft Build (often stylised as //build/) is an annual conference event held by Microsoft, aimed towards software engineers and web developers using Windows, Windows Phone, Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft technologies. First held in 2011, it serves as a successor for Microsoft's previous developer events, the Professional Developers Conference (an infrequent event which covered development of software for the Windows operating system) and MIX (which covered web development centering on Microsoft technology such as Silverlight and ASP.net). The attendee price was (US)$2,195 in 2016, up from $2,095 in 2015. It has sold out quickly, within one minute of the registration site opening in 2016.Century 21 Exposition
The Century 21 Exposition (also known as the Seattle World's Fair) was a world's fair held April 21, 1962, to October 21, 1962, in Seattle, Washington.
Nearly 10 million people attended the fair. Unlike some other world's fairs of its era, Century 21 made a profit.As planned, the exposition left behind a fairground and numerous public buildings and public works; some credit it with revitalizing Seattle's economic and cultural life (see History of Seattle since 1940). The fair saw the construction of the Space Needle and Alweg monorail, as well as several sports venues (Washington State Coliseum, now KeyArena) and performing arts buildings (the Playhouse, now the Cornish Playhouse), most of which have since been replaced or heavily remodeled.
The site, slightly expanded since the fair, is now called Seattle Center; the United States Science Pavilion is now the Pacific Science Center. Another notable Seattle Center building, the Museum of Pop Culture (earlier called EMP Museum), was built nearly 40 years later and designed to fit in with the fairground atmosphere.Chris Cornell (Marra)
The Chris Cornell memorial statue is a bronze sculpture depicting Chris Cornell by Nick Marra, installed outside the Museum of Pop Culture on the Seattle Center grounds, in the U.S. state of Washington. It was first displayed to the public on October 7, 2018. The life-size statue shows the musician holding a guitar. It was gifted to the museum by Cornell's spouse, Vicky Cornell.Connections Museum
The Connections Museum (formerly the Herbert H. Warrick Jr. Museum of Communications, originally the Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum), is located in Centurylink's Duwamish Central Office at East Marginal Way S. and Corson Avenue S. in Georgetown, Seattle, Washington. It "reveals the history of the telephone and the equipment that makes it all work." The museum was originally sponsored by the Washington Telecom Pioneers, and is now a part of the Telecommunications History Group, based in Denver, CO. It features vintage equipment from AT&T, Western Electric, Pacific Northwest Bell, USWest, and other organizations.Duo'Lectar
The DuoLectar is a double necked stringed instrument, designed to be played exclusively by touch or tapping on the strings.Elliott Wilson (journalist)
Elliott Wilson (born January 14, 1971) is an American journalist, television producer, and magazine editor. He is the founder and CEO of Rap Radar. In the past, he has worked as editor-in-chief of XXL Magazine. While there, he became known for his editorials under the nickname "YN".
Over the course of his career, Elliott has interviewed and profiled a number of artists, including Jay-Z and Drake.Enigma (Give a Bit of Mmh to Me)
"Enigma (Give a Bit of Mmh to Me)" is a song by French singer Amanda Lear from her second album Sweet Revenge, released as a single in 1978. It was a chart success upon its original release and enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in 2004 after exposure in the Kinder Bueno TV advertisement.Eric Weisbard
Eric Weisbard is an American music critic known for founding the Pop Conference, which is hosted annually by the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the EMP Museum). He also organized the conference for many years.Frank Gehry
Frank Owen Gehry, , FAIA (; born Frank Owen Goldberg; (1929 -02-28)February 28, 1929) is a Canadian-born American architect, residing in Los Angeles.
A number of his buildings, including his private residence, have become world-renowned attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as "the most important architect of our age".Gehry's best-known works include the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles; Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, France; MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Vontz Center for Molecular Studies on the University of Cincinnati campus; Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle; New World Center in Miami Beach; Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; Dancing House in Prague; the Vitra Design Museum and the MARTa Herford museum in Germany; the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; the Cinémathèque Française in Paris; and 8 Spruce Street in New York City.
It was his private residence in Santa Monica, California that jump-started his career. Gehry is also the designer of the future National Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial.List of museums in Seattle
Seattle, Washington is home to four major art museums and galleries: the Frye Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Several Seattle museums and cultural institutions that are not specifically art museums also have excellent art collections, most notably the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, which has an excellent collection of Native American artwork.
Seattle is also home to well over 100 commercial art galleries, at least a dozen non-profit art galleries, and perhaps a hundred artists' studios that are open to the public at least once a month. About half of these galleries and studios are concentrated in one neighborhood, Pioneer Square.Music of Washington (state)
The U.S. state of Washington has been home to many popular musicians and several major hotbeds of musical innovation throughout its history. The largest city in the state, Seattle, is best known for being the birthplace of grunge, a type of rock and roll, during the mid-1980s, as well as a major contributor to the evolution of punk rock, indie music, folk, and hip-hop. Nearby Tacoma and Olympia have also been centers of influence on popular music.
Several world-famous musicians have hailed from Washington. Bing Crosby, who was born in Tacoma in 1903 and raised in Spokane, had a #1 hit in the U.S. in 1942 with "White Christmas". Jimi Hendrix, one of classic rock's most enduring guitar legends, was born in Seattle and buried in Renton, WA; and folk rock singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins, who had a #1 Hot 100 hit in 1984 with "Footloose", is from Everett, Washington. Saxophonist Kenny G is from Seattle and attended the University of Washington.Seattle Center
Seattle Center is an arts, educational, tourism and entertainment center in Seattle, Washington, United States. Spanning an area of 74 acres (30 ha), it was originally built for the 1962 World's Fair. Its landmark feature is the 605-foot (184 m) tall Space Needle, which at the time of its completion was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Seattle Center is located just north of Belltown in the Uptown neighborhood.Seattle Center Monorail
The Seattle Center Monorail is an elevated monorail line in Seattle, Washington, that operates along Fifth Avenue between Seattle Center in Lower Queen Anne and Westlake Center in Downtown. Seattle Center Monorail is a public transit route with a top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). Owned by the City of Seattle, the line has been operated by private contractor Seattle Monorail Services since 1994. It was given historical landmark status by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board April 16, 2003.Seattle Marathon
The Seattle Marathon is an annual marathon held in Seattle, Washington on the last Sunday in November. Currently sponsored by Amica Insurance (Amica Mutual Insurance), the marathon was established in 1970 when a group of 38 runners attempted to run the 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) challenge. Thirty-one of them managed to finish.
The present course begins on 5th Avenue N. between Harrison and Mercer Streets in front of the Museum of Pop Culture on the eastern edge of the Seattle Center campus, follows 5th Avenue through Downtown and the International District to Interstate 90, follows I-90 across Lake Washington to Mercer Island, turns around and heads back across the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge to the shoreline, follows Lake Washington Boulevard S. to Seward Park, loops Bailey Peninsula, and follows Lake Washington Boulevard S. back up the shoreline to McGilvra Boulevard E. in Madison Park. From there, the course follows E. Madison Street southwest to the southern entrance of the Washington Park Arboretum, turning north on Lake Washington Boulevard E. to E. Interlaken Boulevard. The course follows Interlaken northwest out of the Arboretum and through Interlaken Park, then west across Interstate 5 to Boylston Avenue E. Heading south, it follows Boylston back under the freeway, where it becomes Lakeview Boulevard E., then follows Lakeview south, once again over the interstate, to Eastlake Avenue E. The course turns west on Republican Street through Cascade to Dexter Avenue N., where it jogs north one block to Mercer Street, then turns south on 4th Avenue N. and finishes within Memorial Stadium in Seattle Center.Typewriter Eraser, Scale X
Typewriter Eraser, Scale X is a sculpture of a large-scale typewriter eraser by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.Constructed in 1999, it is located at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.
Other examples are also located at Seattle Center near the Museum of Pop Culture, and CityCenter, Paradise.Vulcan Inc.
Vulcan Inc. is a privately held company controlled by the estate of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Established in 1986, Vulcan Inc. is headquartered on Fifth Avenue in Seattle, Washington. Vulcan oversees Allen's business activities and philanthropic efforts including —the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Great Elephant Census, the Seattle Cinerama, and Stratolaunch Systems.