See That My Grave is Kept Clean: A Personal Collection of Etchings from Gravestones of Blues Artists 

Curator, John Wgrzyn

February 17th – May 19th 2018


The exhibit entitled “ See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” is taken from a song by Blind Lemon Jefferson and includes rubbings of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Memphis Minnie, Professor Longhair and dozens more.

John Wegrzyn has traveled the United States visiting grave sites of famous blues musicians for the past 20 years. About 10 years ago he created gravestone rubbings on album record sleeves from these sites. This process transforms the images of the gravestone onto paper making a unique artful homage to each musician.


Kirk West Photography: The Blues in Black and White

Curator, Kirsten West and Kirk West

Nov. 4, 2017 – Feb. 4, 2018

Kirk West, is a professional photographer who has an extensive collection of photographs of Blues icons. Most of these photographs were taken in Chicago where Kirk was a contract photographer with the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times. He worked with Bruce Iglauer, the founder of Alligator Records, for many years and took many albums cover photographs of the Alligator Blues stars. Kirk left his home in Iowa and moved to Chicago specifically because he loved the Blues and wanted to be closer to the source.

  • 65 Images including Albert King, Albert Collins, Son Seals, ZZ Top, James Brown, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Gatemouth Brown, Bobby Blue Bland, Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor and of course, the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi and Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule and many more.
  • Four canvas prints, featuring Bob Marley and Tom Waits
  • Framed 30×30 prints of Buddy Guy and Etta James


The Sepia Magazine Photo Archive: Blues in Review

Curator, Carole L. Anthony

April 29, 2017 – October 13, 2017

Sepia carefully and purposefully documented American popular culture and African-American history with special attention to its predominantly southern and overseas military audience. A select group of photographs debuted at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio in 2009. As a reflection of the magazine’s purpose, the photographs symbolize the diversity, character, and significance of some of the most influential people in music and pop culture’s history.

Images include: W. C. Handy, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Ethel Waters, Nina Simone, B. B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bobby Blue Bland, Etta James, Johnnie Taylor, Guitar Slim, Gatemouth Brown, and more.


January – April 2017

Women of the Blues: A Coast-to-Coast Collection

Curator, Lynn Orman Weiss

January 6, 2017 – April 8, 2017

The collection features 60 photographs of ‘Women of the Blues’ of all ages and ethnic backgrounds representing all styles from southern soul blues to Chicago blues & rock blues. Sixteen photographers from around the world share their very passionate and powerful images of these extraordinary women, photographed from the stage at the Chicago Blues Festival to the Maui Sugar Mill in Los Angeles, from the Blues Cruise on the Caribbean to festivals on the East Coast. The images include artists such as, Mavis Staples and Susan Tedeschi (Grammy winning rock blues icon) to Chicago’s Southern soul blues diva, Nellie ‘Tiger’ Travis, the newly crowned Queen of the Blues, Shemekia Copeland, and many more. This exhibit is dedicated, in tribute, to Koko Taylor’s foundation, Sisters of Royalty.


To learn more about this exhibit, watch this introduction courtesy of HEC-TV

Watch the video below to see Lynn Orman Weiss talk about “The Women of the Blues” exhibit



A Cast of Blues

Curator, Sharon McConnell-Dickerson

July 2, 2016-Dec. 9, 2016

The exhibit is composed of the life-cast masks of 40 blues musicians, including Big George Brock, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and Ruth Brown. The exhibit also includes a bronze sculpture of the hands of blues artist Johnny Winter.

“The work that Sharon has created speaks volumes about her talent and perseverance as an artist – two traits that are integral to the creation of blues music,” says Dion Brown, executive director of the National Blues Museum. “These sculptures give additional depth to the spirits of the artists she has chosen to depict, and helps enhance the viewer’s experience and education in both blues and visual art.” This is a multi-media, educational, interactive exhibit that is designed to be accessible for persons with disabilities, and presented at a level that children can also reach out to touch.


The exhibition has traveled through Mississippi, Cognac, France, and Dothan, Alabama and was recently seen at the Griot Black History Museum in St. Louis and at the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis.

Blues at Home

Curator, H.C. Porter

April 2, 2016 – June 1, 2016

Blues at Home is a collection of paintings by award-winning artist H.C. Porter. First Porter takes a black and white photograph of her subject. She then transfers the photograph onto paper using a silkscreen before hand painting each one with acrylic paint and prismacolor pencils. The results are works of art brimming with detail and vibrant colors.