Take a stroll back in time as you explore the new Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics exhibit at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
From the moment rock and roll hit the radio, it’s played a critical role in politics and social movements around the world. Through the country’s biggest ups and downs, music has connected the United States.
Louder Than Words explores how rock music can change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality and freedom.The exhibit examines how artists exercise their First Amendment rights, challenge assumptions and beliefs, stimulate thought, and effect change.
Beyond music’s influence on the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and gender equality, the exhibit also features other significant moments and figures.
For instance, performing at the Super Bowl in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, U2 paid tribute to the victims by projecting their names on a massive backdrop as it played “Where the Streets Have No Name.”
Bono’s jacket from that performance is on display; the jacket’s stars-and-stripes lining serves as an additional homage to the victims.
“Louder Than Words highlights how artists have used their craft as a platform to express their views and shape public opinion,” said Greg Harris, president and CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The exhibit walks visitors through each presidency, from Eisenhower to Trump, and highlights key musical influences over the years.
Louder Than Words is a music-loving, history buff’s dream with its collection of videos, photographs, periodicals and artifacts.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and the Newseum in Washington, D.C., partnered to create this traveling exhibit. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum’s presentation of Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics, marks its first stop outside of the two iconic partnering museums.
The exhibit first premiered on May 20, 2017, at the Rock Hall, and was on display at the Newseum during the 2017 presidential inauguration through July 31. The exhibit opened Nov. 7 and will be in Grand Rapids through Feb. 11.
The exhibit is included in the museum’s regular admission fees. For more information, visit Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Pictured below are a few of the Louder Than Words displays: