Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Unzipped is the first international exhibition devoted to the Rolling Stones.

Dave Hogan/Handout

While the touring plans of the Rolling Stones are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian fans of the British legends do have something to look forward to. The large-scale travelling Rolling Stones exhibit Unzipped will make its lone Canadian stop at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, Ont., from Nov. 2, 2021 to Jan. 30, 2022.

Unzipped is an updated and rebranded version of the globe-trotting Stones museum installation Exhibitionism, which opened at London’s Saatchi Gallery in 2015, before moving on to New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Sydney, Australia. The 10,000-square-foot spectacle exhibit opens at the Groninger Museum in the Dutch city of Groningen on Nov. 14. Fifteen shipping containers are required to haul around its artwork, artifacts, musical instruments and stage costumes.

The exhibition features artwork, artifacts, musical instruments and stage costumes used by the rock band.

Handout

How did a former children’s museum in a B-market land a blockbuster installation? Tenacity, apparently.

Story continues below advertisement

“We knew there was no Canadian date for the exhibit, so we just continued to contact Rolling Stones management,” said David Marskell, chief executive officer of THEMUSEUM. “All of a sudden we were in negotiations.”

Those talks concluded a couple of weeks back. Marskell, a 65-year-old Stones fan who first saw the band at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1972, never considered his pursuit of Unzipped as a pie in the sky.

Handout

“You don’t know what you can get until you ask,” he told The Globe and Mail.

Marskell and THEMUSEUM do have experience with mammoth touring exhibits, having hosted Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit for four months in 2010. The installation too big to fail drew some 50,000 visitors to a downtown site that formerly housed a department store. Since opening in 2003, THEMUSEUM curated the original exhibit Andy Warhol’s Factory in 2009 and has worked with Yoko Ono on a pair of occasions.

THEMUSEUM has no permanent collection. Instead it relies on what Marskell calls “experiential happenings,” last year’s FLOW: The Menstruation Exhibition and AFTERLIFE: A Séance Experience among them.

In gist and scope, Unzipped compares to David Bowie Is …, the epic touring survey of the art and life of the artful British pop star. It drew a little more than 146,000 visitors to the Art Gallery of Ontario during a nine-week run in 2013.

Unzipped is a reference to the sexually suggestive cover of the band’s 1971 Sticky Fingers album.

Handout

Marskell forecasts at least 65,000 people will visit Unzipped, and he doesn’t expect to blast out the museum’s marketing budget to pull off those numbers.

Story continues below advertisement

“The Rolling Stones brand is so powerful,” he said. “We don’t have to teach people about the band or explain them.”

The show is one more exhibition that relies on the renown of musical icons to entice mass audiences through museum doors. In addition to David Bowie Is …, examples include Björk at the Museum of Modern Art in 2015 and Play It Loud last year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York. The latter exhibit of instruments and costumes was co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a mammoth Cleveland-based shrine to the genre.

The title Unzipped references the sexually suggestive cover of the band’s Sticky Fingers album from 1971. Conceived by Andy Warhol, the record’s original artwork involved a functioning zipper that when opened revealed a pair of men’s briefs.

One key attraction is a recreation of a two-room flat on Edith Grove in London the band's founders moved into in 1962.

Handout

One key attraction within Unzipped is a recreation of the squalid two-room flat on Edith Grove in London that band founders Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones moved into in 1962. “It was disgusting,” Richards once said about the apartment. “Mould growing on the walls.”

Tickets for Unzipped go on sale this November.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies