The Smithsonian Captures “The Oprah Effect”

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It is well known that the effect Oprah has on America and the
world is groundbreaking. The new exhibition: Watching Oprah,
The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the
National Museum of African American History & Culture;
features Oprah’s greatest moments and historical
achievements forever immortalized. The exhibit debuted on June 5,
2018 almost two years after the museum opened (September
24, 2016).
The minute you step inside the exhibit hall its important to notice
the lightening because it sets the mood which is warm and
inviting. Much like Oprah, the feeling you get is that you are
entering a cozy setting to meet someone important–and you
do.  Oprah uncut.
The Oprah Winfrey Show’s television show set in the distance and her interview with then presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle
Obama play on the television screen on rotation with other notable interviews.

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Watching Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture I Photo: MJ Carter

Throughout the exhibit you immediately notice the seemingly
larger than life glass encased objects she–Oprah herself
donated to the Smithsonian. Such as the famous red dress
and portrait from the Legends Ball 2005. You see the dress
and shoes she wore to the Golden Globes when she made
what some think is her greatest speech; propelling many to
think she would run for president one day.

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Watching Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture I Photo: MJ Carter
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Watching Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture I Photo: MJ Carter

All the Emmy’s the Oprah Winfrey Show won are displayed
once you get deeper into to the exhibit. The light reflects off
of each Emmy to give it a spark and a glimmer.

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Watching Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture I Photo: MJ Carter

You also see her Medal of Freedom awarded to her by
President Obama laying there full of strength and glory.  You
must visit the exhibit to see this and so much more.
The green room was a fun part of the exhibit where you get a behind the scenes look at
all the photo opportunities with notable public figures– whether they are Hollywood elite or political types; you name
them and Oprah has interviewed them.
She produced documents for the exhibit like notes, scripts,
seating charts and show ideas.

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Watching Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture I Photo: MJ Carter

But the entire time you feel “The Oprah Effect”. The large,
illuminated Harpo Studios sign, the television camera and the
television set which I first mention; the glass encased dresses, the
documents, the green room, the video montages straight
from Oprah herself prove to be an exhibition worth seeing
again and again.

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Watching Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture I Photo: MJ Carter
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Watching Oprah, The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture at the National Museum of African American History & Culture I Photo: MJ Carter

 

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