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What is the "Mothership" and why is it at the National Museum of African American History and Culture?

Dr. Dwandalyn Reece

One of the most iconic stage props ever, George Clinton's Mothership. It will be on display in the permanent music exhibition "Musical Crossroads" at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Collection Object: 
The Mothership
Topic
African American
Funk (Music)
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Designed by
George Clinton, American, born 1941
Peter Larkin, American, born 1926
Jules Fisher, American, born 1937
Used by
Parliament-Funkadelic, American, founded 1955
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Love to the planet
Medium
metal, plastic, glass
Dimensions
Overall with Weight: 120 × 250 × 113 in., 1500 lb. (304.8 × 635 × 287 cm, 680.4 kg)
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Tools and Equipment-Props and set design
Exhibition
Musical Crossroads
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 053
Date
1990s
Description
"The Mothership" is the centerpiece stage prop used by Clinton and his multiple bands during their live concert performances. This object is a near-exact replica of the slightly larger Mothership that was used exclusively at the closing moments of concerts during the height of the band's popularity from 1976-1981. This replica prop was built from metal, plastic, and glass in the mid 1990s and used on the "Mothership Reconnection Tour".
Type
props (object genres)
Object number
2011.83.1.1-.9