Gary Grimshaw headlines four new Detroit Historical Museum exhibit openings

Gary Grimshaw White Stripes poster
Gary Grimshaw White Stripes poster

Starting Saturday, October 18, visitors to the Detroit Historical Museum have the opportunity to check out four new exhibitions and displays: Gary Grimshaw: Detroit’s Counterculture Poster Artist, St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center: Windows of Opportunity in the Community Gallery, Detroiters Paint Detroit: 1930s in our Detroit Artists Showcase, and a refreshed array of artifacts in the Collections Corner.

Gary Grimshaw: Detroit’s Counterculture Poster Artist opens in the Allesee Gallery of Culture. The Grande Ballroom on Detroit’s east side became the hot spot for counterculture music during the late 1960s and early 70s. Local radio disc jockey and Grande Ballroom promoter Russ Gibb wanted to emulate the rock and psychedelic scene of San Francisco through concert posters. Artist Gary Grimshaw designed posters that fit the bill perfectly.

Grimshaw (1946-2014) grew up in Detroit and spent his career working and living in both Detroit and San Francisco. He worked for newspapers and magazines, and designed posters for concerts and album covers. Grimshaw was an authentic Detroit original and his poster designs have become legendary.

To celebrate the opening of this exhibition, join the Detroit Historical Society on Thursday, October 30 at 6 p.m. for a free special event, featuring a screening of the film “Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story,” a Gary Grimshaw poster sale and the opportunity to meet the woman keeping his legacy alive – his wife Laura Grimshaw.

Interested in Detroit music history? You’ll love our music tour debuting in Spring  2015 – Solid Gold Detroit: Soundtrack to the City Tour. 

St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF) is celebrating 170 years of service to Southeastern Michigan this year. In reflecting upon its history as one of Michigan’s oldest organizations, SVSF recognizes that it has stood the test of time because it has evolved as the needs of the community have evolved. Although the Center’s services may have changed over the years, its core mission to serve the needs of at-risk children and families has never changed. It is for that reason SVSF has chosen a beautiful and unique part of its past to symbolize its future.

In 1929, Charles and Sarah Fisher added their name to the organization by rebuilding the residence which had been destroyed by fire. Part of the reconstruction was the creation of unique Mother Goose nursery rhymes depicted in stained glass windows for the kindergarten classroom, designed by Detroit Stained Glass and built by Fisher Body. Like the Center itself, these windows have stood the test of time and represent the Windows of Opportunity that SVSF is still providing to the residents of Southeastern Michigan. This exhibit is open now through December 28, 2014 in the Community Gallery.

Detroit has long been a fertile ground for artists and other creative individuals. Many of these artists’ paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings document unique moments in our region’s rich history and capture the essence of our diverse community. In connection with the Detroit Institute of Arts’ upcoming presentation of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, Detroiters Paint Detroit: 1930s will showcase Detroit urban landscape paintings by local artists. The paintings reflect the city as it was in the 1930s, when Diego and Frida visited the DIA and spent a year creating art in Detroit. Additionally, these paintings offer a snapshot of what the Detroit art “scene” was like during that time.

This exhibition includes works by E.H. Barnes, John Gelsavage, Amy Lorrimer and France Murray.


The Collections Corner showcase on the Museum’s second floor gives the Society a chance to showcase the rich stories of our region through our rare and often priceless artifacts that have not been seen in quite some time or have never been on display. Additionally, this exhibition highlights a sampling of our newly acquired objects. New items on display include the Adams Theatre marquee circa 1930, the 19th century iron gate from Mariner’s Church and many more items.

The Adams Theatre was designed and built in 1917 by architect C. Howard Crane. After its opening, it was quickly turned into a movie theater. The theatre was known as the Alley – Jumper because the lobby was located in the Fine Arts Building on Grand Circus Park. The theatre was located “across the alley” on Elizabeth. Patrons would purchase their tickets and concessions in the lobby of the Fine Arts and then patrons with seats in the balcony would walk upstairs and cross a sky walk over the alley. For seats below, patrons would walk down some stairs and walk through a tunnel under the alley.

The will of Julia Anderson provided for Mariner’s Church — she wanted a church dedicated to serving Great Lakes seamen. Mariner’s Church was founded in 1842 and remains open to this day.

These exhibitions are all supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for all, all the time. Parking in the Museum’s lot is $6 at all times.

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