Oprah Winfrey has already made a permanent mark on pop culture and American history, and now the billionaire mogul is going to make a place for herself in the National Museum of African American History. Winfrey is reportedly getting her own exhibit in the museum, according to The Washington Post.
The new exhibit, which is entitled, “Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture,” will reportedly pay homage to Winfrey’s extensive career in journalism, film, and business. The exhibit will reportedly feature vintage video clips, interview segments, movie costumes, and personal photos and journals, chronicling her influence across all mediums. “What’s interesting is the same way America thought about Walter Cronkite — you could trust Walter Cronkite and his opinion — they trust Oprah,” museum director Lonnie G. Bunch III said in a statement. “An African American woman becomes the person America turns to… We made sure there was a bright line, that this was done by the museum and museum scholars.”
The exhibit will reportedly be divided into three sections. The first section will explore Winfrey’s childhood and early career and how shifts in culture around the 1950s and 60s influenced her world views. The second sections will look at her 25-year run on the Oprah Winfrey Show – the highest-rated talk show in history. It will incorporate artifacts from Harpo Studios in Chicago (where the show was filmed) and will delve into Winfrey’s segments regarding race and other social issues. The final section will reportedly conclude with a look at Winfrey’s influence as a tastemaker in the film and book industry, as well as her philanthropic work.
“We’re providing a context for understanding not only who she is, but how she became a global figure, and how she is connected to broader stories and themes,” Co-curator Kathleen Kendrick said of the exhibit. “In terms of content and narrative and the way the story is told, it’s the museum’s product.The way we approached it was the way we approach all of our exhibitions.”
Oprah originally donated $21 million to the $540 million museum, making her its largest individual benefactor, according to reports. Her role as a benefactor did not influence the exhibition, Bunch stated. The “Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture” will reportedly open on Friday, June 8, and run through the rest of the month.