If you were not at last night’s first Home Show—and judging by the length of the lines, it felt like everyone was there—you may wonder if the MoPOP’s new Pearl Jam: Home and Away is a fitting stand in. Well, if you’re really into Pearl Jam minutia—like multitude different screen-printed t-shirts or a whole slate of “All Access” passes—get yourself to MoPOP.
In sheer quantity of memorabilia, the exhibit is one of biggest the museum has put on. Curators estimate that some last-minute additions pushed the total number of pieces near 500. (The Nirvana exhibition totals around 200.) But most of this is pretty expected: There are t-shirts, posters, setlists, flannels and boots and Ramones shirts that Mr. Vedder donned on stage, smashed Flying-V guitars, the lyrics to “Soon Forget” lodged in a Smith Corona typewriter, and a “Sound Temple”—basically a room with a Pearl Jam jukebox and some band videos projected on the wall.
Casual fans and music history buffs can find points of curiosity. A handwritten letter from Barack Obama to Eddie, doodles in the margins of Vedder’s notebooks that seem like private cognates to his on-stage song ramblings (there’s also a gloriously expected drawing of a cigarette hovering over a glass of red wine). Some Stone Gossard paintings were, to me, most interesting: three butcher-paper-like sheets with watercolor quaintness. They hang above other artifacts in a case nonchalantly, the lack of art-gallery decorum somehow making them more compelling, a glimpse into the private work of titans.
Pearl Jam: Home and Away
Aug 11–early 2019, Museum of Popular Culture, $28 (standard museum walk-up entry)