Last month, we reported that the late Frankie Knuckles’ vinyl collection would be archived and displayed at the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago, a “hybrid gallery, media archive and library and community center… for African-American culture and history.” The center won’t open to the public until October 3, but the Chicago Reader got an advance tour earlier this week. Randy Crumpton, who represents Knuckles’ estate and helped establish the foundation in his name, said he brought up the subject of what to do with Knuckles’ collection after he wasn’t able to appear one night in 2008. “That just made me start thinking, ‘God forbid, something happens, we need to archive this history. We need to be able to tell the history of house music—and he being the godfather, what better way than through him.'”
In addition to records, which visitors will be allowed to handle following a brief orientation, sorting through the legendary Chicago producer’s collection showed a unique system of labeling records with multicolored stickers and also yielded some surprises, including—apparently–a dead snake and suggestive note from Janet Jackson. Find out more here.
Images by Andrea Bauer