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Grand Ole Opry Exhibit at Branigan Cultural Center 2017

Grand Ole Opry, an exhibition at the Branigan Cultural Center, documents the radio show known as the“Home of American Music” through the work of commercial photographer Gordon Gillingham during the 1950s. The photographs catalog the Opry in its prime.

The positive postwar atmosphere of the United States was critical for the success of the radio show and country music in general. Gillingham captures the spirit, camaraderie, and sheer joy of the era by focusing his lens both on and off stage. Photographs of Minnie Pearl, Chet Atkins, and Patsy Cline demonstrate the carousing spirit of the performances, while pictures of June Carter, Johnny Cash, and Roy Rogers interacting with their fans offer a backdoor perspective of the Opry.

Though a crucial part of the Opry’s historical fabric, many of Gillingham’s remarkable photographs have never been published or reproduced. Grand Ole Opry unveils this view of a vital hallmark of American culture holistically, embedding the photographs in historical context and audio snippets of the radio show itself. The show is still on the air and has become the longest running radio program in the world.

Grand Ole Opry is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small and mid-sized communities every year. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org.

Admission is free to the Branigan Cultural Center, located at 501 North Main St. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For additional information, visit the website at museums.las-cruces.org or call 575-541-2154.