Visitors to Graceland this year will be treated to an extraordinary new exhibit about Elvis’s life in Memphis, featuring several mural-size Don Newman photographs taken in the late 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and displayed with Elvis artifacts from the Graceland Archives. The “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” exhibit is located in the Sincerely Elvis Museum in the visitor center complex across the street from Graceland Mansion. The exhibit, which will be in place for one year, explores Elvis Presley’s ties to the city he loved and called home, and was mounted with the support of Memphis Heritage, a local historical organization.
The new exhibit includes a downtown Goldsmith’s department store display featuring a Newman photo of the Main Street landmark from the days when Elvis shopped at the city’s finest store. Items in that display include a record cabinet, a phone lamp and a black circular chair with leopard print seat cushion - all purchased by Elvis at the downtown Goldsmith’s – plus samples from Elvis’s personal record collection.
The exhibit follows the life of Elvis in Memphis through other displays such as The Claridge Hotel, Lansky Bros., Mid-South Coliseum, Lowenstein’s and the Sears superstore on Cleveland. The Britling’s Cafeteria display is dedicated to Elvis’s mother Gladys, who once worked at the local restaurant, and offers a rare look at some of her personal effects and the Presley’s 1953 tax return.
The exhibit was made possible with the help of Memphis Heritage. The organization’s annual fundraising Memphis Heritage calendar is sponsored entirely by Elvis Presley Enterprises, and is a unique 18-month edition featuring Newman photographs of Memphis as they relate to Elvis and the Memphis he knew. The content is supplemented by anecdotes and images of artifacts and documents from the Graceland Archives. The calendar is available on www.memphisheritage.org and in Graceland stores and elsewhere in the city.