Oprah Winfrey keeps winning and winning this year! The mogul is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. opening Friday (June 8).
The exhibition, titled Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture, explores several different sides of the multihyphenate. Fans will get to learn more about Winfrey’s iconic talk show, movie roles and personal life. Here’s everything that fans should know about the exhibit, which closes in June 2019:
Museum curators Rhea L. Combs and Kathleen Kendrick really wanted the exhibit to best represent Winfrey and celebrate all of her accomplishments in the entertainment industry. They also wanted to speak about the icon’s educational and humanitarian work, which, they say, “has shaped America.” Combs and Kendrick worked with Winfrey and her staff on arranging loans for the exhibition, the Press Herald reported.
“What’s interesting is the same way America thought about Walter Cronkite – you could trust Walter Cronkite and his opinion – they trust Oprah,” Lonnie G. Bunch III, the museum’s director, said. “An African-American woman becomes the person America turns to.”
The exhibition content is organized into three sections — “America Shapes Oprah,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show, ” and “Oprah Shapes America.” The first section (years 1954 to 1985) explores Oprah’s early life and how she grew up during the civil rights era, and the second section (years 1986 to 2011) dives into her iconic talk show and its impact. The final section (the 1980s to the Present) touches on how the media mogul’s work on TV, movies and in larger society has influenced America.
Curators found a variety of ways to tell Oprah’s story in each section: video clips, interview segments, movie costumes, personal photographs and journals. They added original artifacts from Harpo Studios, the home of the Oprah Winfrey Show for more than 20 years, in Chicago.
“Civil rights, the women’s movement, the media and television landscape, she’s at this distinct intersection of all of these dynamic moments,” Combs said.