Museum of Pop Culture

Located in Seattle, Washington, the Museum of Pop Culture is an innovative museum that promotes the education and engagement of past and current pop culture art trends that will inspire future generations. Since the Museum of Pop Culture is focused on providing the general public with a fun and educational pop culture experience, a bulk of the displays at the museum are permanent. Museum of Pop Culture



The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, founded the Museum of Pop Culture (then dubbed the Experience Music Project) with the intent to educate and inspire people to engage with pop culture in their daily lives. When the official building for the Museum of Pop Culture was being planned, architect Frank O. Gehry gained inspiration through classical rock ‘n’ roll music. Specifically, Gehry examined various classical guitars. He even used small guitar pieces to create the first model of the museum’s building. Today, visitors can see the classical rock ‘n’ roll elements of the Museum of Pop Culture’s building, such as the classic red and blue colors, and innovative design. Photo: Museum of Pop Culture

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»Permanent Attractions

Permanent Attractions

Each of the exhibits is related to music, sports, literature, cinemas, and some specific pop icons such as Nirvana and Jimmy Hendrix specifically.

Sound Lab is an interactive permanent attraction that enables visitors to get a hands-on experience of what recording an album would sound and feel like. The process is simple: all visitors have to do is enter one of the soundproof rooms, pick up an instrument, and start playing. They have the option of performing an original piece or playing a classic song. Each room has a different set of instruments. Some have trios, which include a combination of three of the any following instruments; guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums. Other rooms have a variety of drums, audio technology, or professional DJ turntables.

Guitar Gallery: The Quest for Volume contains the 55 most popular guitars out of the Museum of Pop Culture’s permanent collection of 236 guitars. This exhibit explores the same guitars that were used by music legends, such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame is one of the most popular attractions at the Museum of Pop Culture. Each year, a board of renowned science fiction and fantasy artists, authors, and other professionals come together to choose new inductees. This hall of fame is designated to honoring the revolutionary science fiction and fantasy work done throughout the ages. Some of the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame include David Bowie, H.R. Giger, and Hayao Miyazaki.

Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970 explores the life of Jimi Hendrix during the height of his career. From 1966 to 1970 Hendrix had over 500 concerts that were spread out across 15 countries. Also, he spent his time recording approximately 130 songs within 16 studios. This exhibit showcases special documents, photographs, and other objects that resemble this time within Hendrix’s life.

Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses showcases how Nirvana rose to fame, maintained success, and the legacy of the band today. While part of this exhibit details the history of Nirvana, it also explores the special and unique underground music scene in Seattle that was influential to Nirvana, and bands alike. This exhibit is the largest Nirvana exhibit in the world.

Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic is a hands-on exhibit that enables visitors to interact with and explore each object in-depth. Objects in this exhibit range from original manuscripts to costumes from some of the most loved and popular TV shows and movies, such as Game of Thrones, The Wizard of Oz, and Harry Potter. Photo: Museum of Pop Culture

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»Special Attractions

Special Attractions

Although the bulk of exhibits at the Museum of Pop Culture are permanent, the museum houses traveling exhibits throughout the year. Currently, the Museum of Pop Culture does not have any special attractions. In order to obtain an updated list of special attractions at the Museum of Pop Culture, check out the museum’s website. Photo: Museum of Pop Culture

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»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

The Museum of Pop Culture has an array of educational opportunities that engage everyone. Some of the educational programs include; writing workshops, classes, specialized tours, hands-on activities, and lesson plans that can be used by educators.

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Seattle, WA: Museum of Pop Culture