There's An 'O.J. Simpson Museum' Coming To Los Angeles
Nearly a half century after he won the Heisman Trophy, and two decades after his infamous murder trial, O.J. Simpson appears to have as much a grip on pop culture as ever.
A week after Simpson was granted parole in a hearing that dominated the day's news (and countless live streams), Chinatown's Coagula Curatorial Gallery has announced plans for a temporary museum devoted to the Juice.
The pop-up "O.J. Simpson Museum" will take over the gallery from August 18 to August 22, and will feature more than 300 artifacts, dozens of which will date back to the time of the trial, including myriad souvenirs, relics from the court case, a previously unseen collection of bootleg Simpson t-shirts, and a 1994 Ford Bronco. There will also be original O.J. Simpson-inspired art.
The exhibit will be curated by self-described O.J. Simpson expert and creator of The O.J. Tour Adam Papagan.
“The O.J. Trial has been a lifelong obsession of mine. Everyone knows the media version, but the O.J. Museum is the vernacular of the people," Papagan said.
Coagula Curatorial gallerist Mat Gleason told LAist that he and Papagan bonded over their shared interest in the case. "Adam is really young," Gleason said of his twenty-something counterpart. "I'm 52 and I lived through the O.J. case and even wrote about it a couple times while it was happening for a zine I published and for the LA Downtown News."
"By not having lived through it [as an adult], Adam understood its value much more on pop culture," Gleason explained. "We really hit it off talking about O.J., and then he started showing me pieces from his collection, so I started saying, 'When are we going to do a show at my gallery?' and he kept saying 'When I get the white Bronco.'"
In May, Papagan launched a Kickstarter to purchase a white Bronco, and the rest is history.
The temporary exhibit will also feature O.J. board games, an O.J. library, sports memorabilia, interactive exhibits and a gift shop. But is it "art"?
"Absolutely," Gleason said. "It's totally within the purview of reflecting the times we live in, the culture we live in, and the narrative of one person."
According to Gleason, the exhibit will also be "very respectful," and will feature a tribute to Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
The pop-up O.J. Simpson Museum will be at Coagula Curatorial Gallery from August 18 to 22. Coagula Curatorial is located at 974 Chung King Road in Chinatown. Admission is $5 at the door. Advance tickets are $4 and can be purchased here.