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Oct 3, 2014. - Jan 4, 2015.

Worn to be Wild

The Black Leather Jacket

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Gallery scenes from an earlier stop for this travelling exhibition. Click image to enlarge.

From military aviators to motorcycle enthusiasts, from movie and music stars to famous fashionistas, the black leather jacket has been a siren of cool for decades. And now it gets the serious treatment it has long deserved—a full-blown exhibition at an art museum.

Preview Party
Thursday, Oct. 2

Live rock 'n' roll
a cash bar, a lecture by
the show's curator, and
lots of friends you haven't met yet

Free to Members, $10 at the door all others.
Members can RSVP (acceptances only) at

In a nod to the connection between the black leather jacket and motorcycles, the exhibition includes two classic Harley-Davidsons, a vintage 1920 Model J, and a 1956 Model K owned by Elvis Presley.

Jackets include:

  • a metal-studded jacket worn by Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger's jacket from Terminator 2
  • Rooney Mara's Gothic geek look from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Harry Shearer's jacket from the mock rockumentary This is Spinal Tap

Haute couture as contemporary art is also represented with jackets by Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, including one by Jeremy Scott adorned with a Keith Haring print.

Worn to be Wild is on loan from the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, in conjunction with the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle.

Painted WWII-era A2 military flight jacket from a private collection. Photo courtesy: Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee.

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