If you’ve ever been curious as to what The Godfather of House Music had tucked away in his record collection, you’ll soon have a chance to find out. On October 3rd, the Stony Island Bank Arts Bank will open in Chicago and feature–among other African American memorabilia–Frankie Knuckles‘ entire collection of vinyl.
The Stony Island Bank Arts Bank is a former bank constructed in 1923 and bought three years ago by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates. Gates saved this “emblem of the middle-class black community” from demolishment by purchasing it from the city of Chicago for one dollar. While he initially wasn’t quite sure what to do with the 17,000 square foot building, Gates finally decided on making it an arts-focused monument celebrating the Great Migration and African American culture in Chicago, Art News reports:
“Gates wasn’t totally sure what he wanted to do with the bank initially. “When he acquired the building, it was much more about preserving this emblem of the middle-class black community in these neighborhoods—this symbol of the middle class and the Great Migration of the African American community that grew in these neighborhoods,” Ken Stewart, the CEO of Gates’s nonprofit organization Rebuild, said. “It was over a few years from the time that he acquired the building to now that a final concept came into view.”
“This is a new kind of cultural amenity, a new kind of institution—a hybrid gallery, media archive and library, and community center,” Gates said in a statement. “It is an institution of and for the South Side—a repository for African American culture and history, a laboratory for the next generation of black artists and culture-interested people; a platform to showcase future leaders—be they painters, educators, scholars, or curators.”
In addition to the Frankie Knuckles collection, the museum will also display “the libraries of the Johnson Publishing Archive, featuring magazines like Jet and Ebony…and Edward J. and Ana J. Williams’ collection of what Gates has termed ‘negrobilia,’ or racist objects that the Williamses own because they wanted to take them off the market.”
Frankie Knuckles was a Grammy-winning producer and DJ largely credited with the creation of house music. He died last year at the age of 59.