Just how extensive is Academy Award-winner Spike Lee's memorabilia collection? EBONY got a sneak peek at Spike Lee: Creative Sources, the new exhibit opening at the Brooklyn Museum, where the prolific director celebrated seven-themed rooms dedicated to his work and art at a VIP party on October 3.
The exhibit features more than 450 personal pieces that pull together an intimate portrait of the influential filmmaker, starting with his thought-provoking films, the musical influences reflected in his work and tributes to the filmmakers of color that came before him. "Oscar Micheaux, Ossie Davis, Gordon Parks, Sidney Poitier, Michael Schultz and Melvin van Peebles. Those filmmakers, they inspired me," Lee, a 2022 EBONY Power 100 recipient, shared in a past interview.
Family photos feature two significant women in Lee's life: his mother, Jacquelyn Lee, and grandmother, Zimmie Jackson, who both graduated from Spellman College, staring proudly out at patrons as we delve deeper into the young mind of Lee and the childhood experience that shaped his art. Newspaper clippings, magazine covers and pieces from his wardrobe, like a royal purple and gold Gucci tuxedo, showcase how Lee carved out his distinct voice and style.
Lee's collection includes work with prominent Black American artists, including Kehinde Wiley, Deborah Roberts, and Michael Ray Charles. A self-proclaimed obsessive sports enthusiast, a myriad of jerseys, including one signed by Colin Kaepernick, fill the space.
Seamlessly culled together, Spike Lee: Creative Sources unveils the people, places and ideas that fuel Lee’s incisive storytelling, weaving together a story that reflects a man who defined a generation.
Curators Kimberli Gant and Indira A. Abiskaroon helped bring Lee's vision for the exhibit to life. "The creative organizational process for this show was very collaborative...dozens of us have been working on this show for the past year and a half," Gant tells EBONY.
"What I hope people will get from it is a real strong sense of curiosity. We're seeing a side of Spike Lee that I don't think people have seen before."
Spike Lee: Creative Sources opens at the Brooklyn Museum on October 7.