Black Panther's Costume to Go on Display at the Smithsonian
After breaking numerous box office records and garnering near-universal acclaim, Marvel’s Black Panther can add another accolade to its collection when the costume T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) wears in the movie makes its way to the Smithsonian this fall.
The Black Panther suit will be displayed at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. during the museum’s inaugural African American Film Festival from October 24-26, 2018. Additionally, some thought has been given to making the costume a permanent fixture of the museum.
In the movie, T’Challa wears two Black Panther suits—one at the beginning of the film, which debuted in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and an upgraded one soon after. The museum will display the first costume, which it acquired in February when a public screening of the film was held there. Also on display will be a signed shooting script, pages from the film’s spec script, and behind-the-scenes photographs showing the filmmaking process.
While the $1.35 billion the movie made is certainly impressive, it's the film's cultural impact that landed it within the halls of a Smithsonian Institution.
“I think the film presented notions of African regality, dignity, modernity, and respect for culture and tradition that many people felt proud to see represented onscreen,” Rhea Combs, a curator at the museum, said in an interview with Smithsonian Magazine.
For many, Black Panther represents the start of a new generation of African American representation in film, which is exactly what the museum is highlighting with its fall festival. “The film festival is as much about celebrating and honoring the past as it is about recognizing and representing the promise of tomorrow, which is precisely what Black Panther represented as well,” Combs said.
You can get more information on the museum's African American Film Festival here.