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Studio 54 exhibit coming to Brooklyn Museum in 2020

Pat Cleveland on the dance floor during Halston's disco bash at Studio 54, 1977 (photo: Guy Marineau via Brooklyn Museum)
Pat Cleveland on the dance floor during Halston’s disco bash at Studio 54, 1977 (photo: Guy Marineau via Brooklyn Museum)

Legendary disco-era NYC club Studio 54, where celebs, starving artists, punks and more partied against the infamous “Moon and Spoon” artwork, is coming to Brooklyn. Specifically, Brooklyn Museum for an exhibition titled “Studio 54: Night Magic” which will run March 13 – July 5, 2020:

In addition to presenting the photography and media that brought Studio 54 to global fame, the exhibition conveys the excitement of Manhattan’s storied disco club with nearly 650 objects ranging from fashion design, drawings, paintings, film, and music to décor and extensive archives. The design of the exhibition itself is inspired by Studio 54’s original lighting and features innovative sets and audio elements that highlight the popular music and film of the era—including chart-topping songs like “Le Freak,” famously written after the band Chic was denied entry to the nightclub’s 1977 New Year’s Eve party, and “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor’s B side that became an anthem after it was championed by Studio 54’s DJ Richie Kaczor.

Organized chronologically, Studio 54: Night Magic uses photography, fashion, drawing, and film, as well as never-before-exhibited costume illustrations, set proposals, and designs, to place the nightclub within the wider history of New York, from Prohibition through the 1970s. Blueprints and architecture models illustrate the club’s innovative development and creation, while documentation of extravagant theme parties traces its thirty-three month run. The exhibition continues through the years after the nightclub’s closure, showing the ongoing influence of Studio 54 aesthetics.

“Studio 54: Night Magic” will also feature a section devoted to the many extravagant parties that happened at Studio 54, including Bianca Jagger’s 30th birthday party where she rode in on horseback, the 1978 New Year’s Eve party that featured a performance by Grace Jones, the Grease and Thank God It’s Friday premiere parties, and more.

Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager opened Studio 54 in April of 1977 and it would close in January of 1980, with Schrager and Rubell each spending 13 months in prison for tax evasion. Rubell died of AIDS-related illness in 1989; Schrager received a presidential pardon from President Barack Obama in 2017.

The 2018 documentary Studio 54, which premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, is available to stream on Netflix. Watch the trailer below.

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