Exhibit at Motown Museum features rare Marvin Gaye artifacts

Display to feature musician's clothing

DETROIT – The celebration continues for the 60th anniversary of Motown Records.

The Motown Museum is opening up an exhibit on Marvin Gaye. It will showcase clothing artifacts from the infamous singer. 

Rain or shine, the show must go on at the Motown Museum. People waited outside in the rain Saturday to see the one-of-a-kind, Marvin Gaye display. 

“Marvin was a true artist. He was an artist at heart.  He took his craft very seriously,” said Motown Museum archivist, David Ellis. 

Ellis said Gaye's craft, his music, his style, were also displayed in his fashion. “Everything he wore, had a specific purpose. It wasn’t for fashion or flare,” said Ellis. 

A purpose that often ruffled a lot of feathers, but some say Gaye didn’t care. Gaye debuted the outfit during his 1983 Sexual Healing tour.

The concept was military style. It stood out and that’s what he wanted. 

“Especially during the ‘What’s Going On’ era. Before that he wore tuxedos, and looked very dapper.  But as time started changing and a lot of social issues started happening, the Vietnam War and things like that.  He wanted to show that he too was affected by those societal issues,” said Ellis. 

Issues that were somehow addressed in his songs, like "Sexual Healing," "Let’s Get It On" and "What’s Going on?"

It is no secret, Gaye had his unique way of getting everyone’s attention, back then and now. 

The USPS is releasing a Gaye stamp on April 2, which is his birthday. You can see the display for the next three months. 

About the Author:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.