While several hundred objects from MoPOP’s collection are on display at any one time in the museum, more than 80,000 pieces are under our care.
MoPOP’s permanent collection — much of which is stored in a physical “vault” — spans the breadth of the pop culture canon and also features one of the finest assemblages of popular music-related artifacts in existence. This rich archive provides the foundation for exhibitions and programs that explore themes tied to popular culture. Additionally, we make the collection available to scholars, journalists, and other researchers for study and to other cultural organizations for loan. With the aim of preservation and public access, our permanent collection includes artworks, musical instruments, photographs, manuscripts, posters, zines, fliers, sound recordings, clothing, and more. Our oral history archive includes more than 1,100 recorded interviews conducted by MoPOP’s curators with musicians, filmmakers, authors, creators, and other luminaries who have shaped our cultural landscape.
We invite you to spark your pop culture curiosity through our online collection vault which features a sampling of objects within our permanent collection, selected by our curators and organized into content areas. Additional objects and content areas will be added by our Curatorial and Collections staff at a steady pace, with the ultimate goal of presenting our entire permanent collection to the public as an educational resource.
Popular culture derives from the creative output of the human experience. There are artists and objects in MoPOP’s permanent collection that may have problematic aspects and/or be considered offensive. In addition, there is material that emphasizes violence, nudity, sexuality, and drug use which may be inappropriate for some viewers. Instead of censoring, we have a responsibility to provide context, shine a light, and present opportunities for dialog, in order to take a critical, sensitive, and thoughtful approach to issues surrounding objects in our collection.
Please get in touch with any questions or feedback you may have about MoPOP’s permanent collection.