Yes, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is now showing the dress made of meat which Lady Gaga wore to the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010. It was installed this morning, with camera crews in attendance. A few facts culled from interviews with museum officials:
-- It was made from 20 pounds of Argentinian beef in two layers, fresh at the time, with a cloth lining.
-- It is not a commentary on meat-eating or vegetarianism. Gaga, who was accompanied by LGBT members of the military at the VMAs, was instead commenting on issues like don't ask, don't tell. "If we don't stand up for our rights," she told Ellen DeGeneres, "pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And, I am not a piece of meat."
-- That being said, I think it's wise that the exhibit of items from Chrissie Hynde does not have a direct line of sight to the meat dress. Wouldn't want mannequin-mayhem to break out.
-- The dress is a new addition to the Rock Hall's "Women Who Rock" exhibit, which already included several other Gaga items, including a piano she played as a child.
-- The Rock Hall began pursuing the dress about as soon as its people aw it on the show. Gaga's people were keeping it in a meat locker; its future use was not clear at that time.
-- Because of what happens to meat, it was treated by a taxidermist to preserve it, and dried on a dress form to preserve its shape.
-- Once it was dried, the taxidermist did not like the look, which was similar to beef jerky. So it was painted to more closely resemble its original look.
-- Its display case has silica gel inside to control moisture, and other elements to keep the air as pure as possible.
-- While the rock hall often deals with tricky or fragile objects, such as old papers and leather, this is still an unusual one.
-- There are no plans for the Rock Hall to get Gaga's famous egg.
I'll be writing a full story about this for Friday's Beacon Journal and Ohio.com.