Worn To Be Wild. The Black Leather Jacket Exhibit At Harley-Davidson Museum.

This summer (June 16 through Sept. 3) the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee will tell the story of the black leather jacket through its special exhibit, Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket.

From pilots to bikers, rock stars to stunt men, rebellious youth to the fashion-forward, this iconic piece of clothing has long served as an expression of style and story.

The black leather jacket, the uniform of cool, sparks a feeling, projects an image, and has evolved and stood the test of time for nearly a century.

Throughout the run of this new summer exhibit, more than 100 artifacts will be featured, including dozens of jackets, many boasting intriguing back stories. The items included in the exhibit come from Harley-Davidson’s archives, collectors, and include jackets worn by celebrities and pop culture icons such as Elvis Presley, Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls) from Spinal Tap and Taylor Lautner (Jacob) of the Twilight series. In addition to the eclectic collection of jackets, the exhibit will also use motorcycles, photographs, film footage, printed literature, advertisements and music to explore how a single article of clothing became so ingrained in our popular culture.

A noteworthy exhibit, this is the first time the leather jacket has been showcased from this perspective, taking visitors through its entire history and evolution.  Harley-Davidson is in a unique position to tell this story; its influence on and connection to the black leather jacket has remained constant since the dawn of motorcycling.  Unlike many fashion exhibits that focus solely on the designer, this exhibit in many ways showcases the wearer, a vast cross-section of people – dating back to the 1920s – with their own distinctive style, experience and story.

This exhibit will be appealing for about everyone, whether young or old, and whether a fan of history, movies, music, fashion, art, motorcycles, or popular culture. Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket runs June 16 through Sept. 3, 2012. Harley-Davidson Museum. (picture @harley-davidson museum courtesy to Cyril Huze)

11 Responses to “Worn To Be Wild. The Black Leather Jacket Exhibit At Harley-Davidson Museum.”

  1. 1 Night Train Feb 10th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    brings back memories!

  2. 2 Bruce Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    What a jacket!

  3. 3 Luis Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I will go through Milwaukee this summer. Will visit this one.

  4. 4 Drake Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Beautiful black leather. I want a jacket like that, not to ride (would distract too many drivers) but to hang on my office wall.

  5. 5 Luis Feb 10th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    @Luis Looks like there are 2 of us now. Hi

  6. 6 zyon Feb 10th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    whoever owned that jacket was a Nailbomb fan (patch on right sleeve)… that makes them cool in my book. I also spotted a Cannibal Corpse patch! Again, cool in my book!

  7. 7 Richard Feb 10th, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Cool! After the last two leather jackets I owned shrunk around the middle (I never thought leather would shrink), I bought an HD “Shovelhead” riding jacket. I’ve been wearing it 6 or 7 years now. It is the most ’50’s “classic style” one I could find at that time. I don’t think it’s been avaiable anymore. It looks exactly like the one pictured sans the studs.

  8. 8 Oldude Feb 11th, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Best ever was the classic BUCO racers jacket. In horsehide of course and with the 30 mission roll on the tail of the jacket!!

  9. 9 Scout Feb 12th, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Looks familiar. 🙂

  10. 10 nicker Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Nice Jacket….!!!

    But studded jackets were a Rocker thing, can’t recall seeing many/any(?) around here when i was a kid.

    US was more like the picture …. “Black Leather Jacket with an Eagle on the Back”


  11. 11 manal Mar 17th, 2012 at 6:15 am

    how can i get one !!

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Cyril Huze