ticket info
Museum Info
  • Located at 191 Beale St. & Hwy 61 at FedExForum [map]
  • Open daily 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Last tour at 6:15 p.m.)
  • Call 901-205-2533 for more information or shoot us an email.

Smithsonian Institution

Affiliates Program

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is proud to have been developed in unique cooperation with the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition of the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is the first and only to have ever been developed by the Smithsonian with another museum.
The museum’s story first began in 1990 as a traveling exhibition titled “Rock ‘n’ Soul: Social Crossroads,” developed by the Smithsonian Institution to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Upon the completion of the traveling exhibition, memorabilia was collected and the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum was established in Memphis, the birthplace of the blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum complex and research organization. It is composed of 14 different museums, as well as the National Zoo, within Washington, D.C., and 2 museums in New York City. The Smithsonian’s exhibitions offer visitors a glimpse into its vast collection numbering over 142 million objects. In fact, at any one time, the Smithsonian can display less than 2 percent of the 142 million items it owns. And while the Smithsonian’s affiliate museum program currently includes 92 museum affiliates in 30 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Panama, its relationship with the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum remains unique. The integrity of the Smithsonian Institution is evidenced throughout the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. The exhibition is much more than displays of guitars and autographed albums. Through the extensive research conducted and scripted by the Smithsonian Institution curators, it tells the story of how people of all races and socio-economic backgrounds broke through social barriers and racial prejudice to create America’s unique musical genres which not only shaped a city’s profile, but changed the world’s cultural complexion forever.

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The Mission of the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum is to Preserve and Tell the Story of Memphis Music and to perpetuate its legacy.