- by Cathy Breslaw
Exhibitions Around Town: Star Trek at Skirball Cultural Center
"To boldly go where no man has gone before." If you are a Star Trek fan, no doubt you have heard these words before. Famously spoken by Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise, his words immediately came to mind while visiting Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds at the Skirball Cultural Center.
The exhibition, organized by the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, includes a dizzying array of 100’s of artifacts and props, numerous scripts, conceptual artworks, set pieces and costumes spanning over 50 years since the original series aired between 1966-1969. Though the original series was cancelled, when it went into syndication in the 1970’s it prospered, building a huge audience. During the 1980’s the show’s creator, producer and writer Gene Roddenberry launched Star Trek: The Next Generation and several motion pictures, and in 2009 a re-boot of the series followed. Enthusiasm for Star Trek fueled the success of comic books, cartoons, novels, action figures and other merchandise, as well as Star Trek themed conventions attended by thousands at various venues around the world.
The exhibition highlights Star Trek themes of diversity, fellowship, friendship, forgiveness, equality and acceptance, as well as portraying its continuing impact on culture, art and technology, and how it led people to create and invent. The exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to see how the technology envisioned in the series has become real-life technology, such as cellphones, tablets and virtual reality devices. Star Trek broke boundaries with its vision of cooperation and inclusion where humans and aliens work together for the common goal of exploring the galaxy. The show was set in a 23rd century world where interplanetary travel was an established fact, and where divides of race, gender, and nationality didn’t exist, using alien cultures to comment on contemporary issues. And, Star Trek was one of the first American series to promote racial diversity and multiculturalism in both cast and themes.
Whether it’s Captain Kirk’s original command chair and navigation console, Dr. Spock’s tunic worn by Leonard Nimoy, a Borg costume, Uhura‘s dress (worn by Nichelle Nichols), or Captain Picard’s uniform (worn by Patrick Stewart), visitors will be enthralled. Spaceship filming models of the U.S.S. Enterprise, U.S.S Excelsior, U.S.S. Phoenix, and Deep Space Nine space station are also on display.
Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds is a fun, educational, thought-provoking and captivating experience for all ages.
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
On view through February 20, 2022