EMP Museum Seattle
Seattle feels like an ode to the 90s.
People still look like they’ve come straight out of a Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins filmclip. There’s un-ironic plaid, torn jeans, and cardigans on every gender. Guys have long hair and beards, and they don’t look more well-tended to than the women’s hair.
My sister and I were well impressed with this. Grungey looking men in bands were always far more our type than guys with impeccable pecs. 😉 North Nomad has long hair and a beard, with numerous tattoos, so this works well for me!
It wouldn’t be an ode to the 90s without looking at popular culture. The EMP Museum in Seattle covers music, sci-fi and pop culture.
Formerly known as the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum is a non-profit museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen the EMP was inspired by Jimi Hendrix, and includes items from icons ranging from Bo Diddley to Bob Dylan to Kurt Cobain.
The EMP building is a stunning piece of architecture. Frank O. Gehry looked to music for his inspiration when designing EMP. The EMP website explains:
A classical music fan, Gehry wanted to understand rock ‘n’ roll, so he traded in his Bach for Hendrix and took a trip to the neighborhood guitar store. He bought several electric guitars, took them back to his office, and cut them into pieces. The guitar pieces were the building blocks for an early model design. Influenced by the colors in the early model, Gehry’s final design brightly displays the red and blue hues of electric guitars.
Pretty cool beginning to the museum!
During our visit, we checked out the rock museum section, and then the sci-fi, horror, and fantasy section.
With the music section, I found the Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses fascinating. You’d barely know about the drug addictions, the melodramatic relationships, and Kurt’s eventual suicide from this exhibit.
It’s not that these details were glossed over as such – they seemed of little importance to the focus on the music and the wide display of the band’s instruments. An interesting choice of presenting the information about Nirvana, I thought!
The television and film section was fascinating in a different way. It was wonderful seeing iconic props from our teenage and early adult years from shows like Dr.Who, the Alien franchise, Buffy, and the Blade trilogy.
What’s your favourite pop culture icon? Have you been to the EMP?
Location: 325 5th Avenue N at Seattle Center.
Getting There: The museum is easily accessible by car, numerous bus routes, and the historic Seattle Center Monorail, built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair. The Monorail departs every 10 minutes from the station at Seattle Center, and from Westlake Center Mall, at 5th and Pine Street.
Hours: During Summer – May 22 2015 to September 7 2015 10am to 7PM. Winter Hours – September 2 2014 to May 21 2015 10am to 5pm.
Cost: Adults $22 online $25 at the door, Seniors $22, Students with ID $22, Military $19, Youths (5-17) $16, Kids under 5 are free.