The ‘Spike Lee: Creative Sources’ Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum Is an Astonishing Site to See

Just how extensive is Academy Award-winner Spike Lee’s memorabilia collection? EBONY got a sneak peek at Spike Lee: Creative Sources, the new exhibit opening at the Brooklyn Museum, where the prolific director celebrated seven-themed rooms dedicated to his work and art at a VIP party on October 3.

Spike Lee: Creative Sources VIP Opening Party
Spike Lee at Creative Sources VIP Party, Brooklyn Museum. Image: Nina Westervelt/GettyImages.
Spike Lee on Crooklyn set. Image: David Lee.
Spike Lee on the Crooklyn set. Image: David Lee.

The exhibit features more than 350 personal pieces that pull together an intimate portrait of the influential filmmaker, starting with his thought-provoking films, the musical influences reflected in his work and tributes to the filmmakers of color that came before him. “Oscar Micheaux, Ossie Davis, Gordon Parks, Sidney Poitier, Michael Schultz and Melvin van Peebles. Those filmmakers, they inspired me,” Lee, a 2022 EBONY Power 100 recipient, shared in a past interview.

Spike Lee’s Gucci Tuxedo. Image: courtesy Creative Sources/Brooklyn Museum.

Family photos feature two significant women in Lee’s life: his mother, Jacquelyn Lee, and grandmother, Zimmie Jackson, who both graduated from Spellman College, staring proudly out at patrons as we delve deeper into the young mind of Lee and the childhood experience that shaped his art. Newspaper clippings, magazine covers and pieces from his wardrobe, like a royal purple and gold Gucci tuxedo, showcase how Lee carved out his distinct voice and style.

Spike and Mike. Image: courtesy Spike Lee/Brooklyn Museum.
Spike and Mike. Image: courtesy Spike Lee/Brooklyn Museum.

Lee’s collection includes work with prominent Black American artists, including Kehinde Wiley, Deborah Roberts, and Michael Ray Charles. A self-proclaimed obsessive sports enthusiast, a myriad of jerseys, including one signed by Colin Kaepernick, fill the space.

Spike Lee
Spike Lee. Image: David Lee.

Seamlessly culled together, Spike Lee: Creative Sources unveils the people, places and ideas that fuel Lee’s incisive storytelling, weaving together a story that reflects a man who defined a generation.

Spike Lee: Creative Sources, organized by Kimberli Gant and Indira A. Abiskaroon, opens at the Brooklyn Museum on October 7.

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Updated: October 6, 2023 — 3:01 pm