Motown: The Sound of Young America

  • On Display

Soul is one of America’s greatest musical treasures, and Motown its most memorable sound.  Motown began in Detroit in the early 1960s and quickly became “The Sound of Young America,” crashing the American pop charts and challenging the Beatles-led British Invasion.  A blend of gospel, blues, and pop, the Motown Sound featured the sweet harmonies of the Supremes and the Temptations, the perfect pop-soul of Smokey Robinson, the genius of Marvin Gaye, the irresistible innocence of Little Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, and so much more.  The common denominator for all this great music: the vision of Motown architect, Berry Gordy, Jr., a former prizefighter and songwriter who believed that talent could be found on nearly every Detroit street corner and bet on it.


Motown: The Sound of Young America celebrates the 60th anniversary of the birth of Motown Records.  The exhibit traces the evolution of the label, focusing on its major artists and musical achievements, and explores how the sound of Motown continues to influence some of pop music’s most important artists today. 


With personal artifacts from some of the music’s biggest recording artists, Motown: The Sound of Young America is the first major museum exhibition to embrace all facets of the biggest sound in soul in the ‘60s: musically, culturally, and politically. 


Exhibit Includes:


  • Stage outfits from The Supremes, The Miracles, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and more. 
  • Interactive displays that enable visitors to sing with the Supremes and dance with the Temptations. 
  • Listening posts that highlight some of Motown’s greatest recordings.
  • Never-before-seen interviews with some of Motown’s greatest artists that shed light on the importance of Motown in American pop music. 
  • Footage from the White House celebration of the Motown Sound with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Current Location

Exhibit Available For Rental

Contact Hillary Morimoto, [email protected]