Preparing for ‘Elvis at The O2’ Exhibit

It takes a lot of thought and care to create an exhibit as extensive as “Elvis at The O2.”

“Elvis at The O2: The Exhibition of His Life” is the largest Elvis retrospective in Europe, and it’ll open in London on Dec. 12. The nine-month exhibit will showcase more than 300 artifacts from the Presley Family’s Graceland Archives, some of which have never been exhibited outside of Graceland in Memphis.

Graceland's archivists prepare Elvis' American Eagle jumpsuit to be sent to London for the "Elvis at The O2" exhibit.

Graceland’s archivists prepare Elvis’ American Eagle jumpsuit to be sent to London for the “Elvis at The O2” exhibit.

“Elvis at The O2” chronicles the rise of the rock ‘n’ roll icon and how Elvis impacted pop culture around the world through his music, movies and personal style.

Angie Marchese, Graceland’s director of archives, decided to start at the beginning of Elvis’ story.

A few of Elvis' records are ready to be shipped to London.

A few of Elvis’ records are ready to be shipped to London.

“First you develop a story line. We met with several design firms, told them what we were looking for and how we want to best represent Elvis. Our goal is to have an immersive exhibit one that really grabs the guest and draws them into the story. So we picked out artifacts that helped tell that story – pieces that really had meaning. We want the visitor to get not only Elvis the entertainer, but to see Elvis the son, the father, the friend. We want the visitor to really understand who he was and why he is still so relevant today,” she said.

To tell the story about the King, you also have to tell the story of the King’s castle.

“We wanted to give the guest at The O2 an authentic Graceland experience and leave them wanting to learn and see more,” she said.

These are two of Elvis' Tom Jones 45s.

These are two of Elvis’ Tom Jones 45s.

Some of Marchese’s favorite pieces are in The O2 exhibition.

“They are so personal,” she said, “like Elvis’ 1st grade crayon box, his graduation program and tassel, a dress of Gladys’, his wallet with photos of Lisa in it. These are things that really showcase Elvis the man.”

Her favorite part of The O2 experience so far? “The best part is getting to pick out all of the amazing photos we will feature in the exhibit, editing together the video content to help bring each area to life and putting together the closing concert experience.”

A pair of Elvis' boots are prepared to travel to London.

A pair of Elvis’ boots are prepared to travel to London.

The first collection of artifacts is almost packed now, and soon everything will be ready for Dec. 12.

“All of the artifacts have had the conditioning reports done, the images have been taken and they have been prepped for display,” she said. “Now it is time to ship everything over and watch it all come together.”

Click here to learn more about the exhibit and to buy your tickets, which go on sale at 9 a.m. on November 7.


16 Comments

  1. Pat Ramsay

    Wow! This will be fantastic. I will do my utmost to go and see this exhibition! Thank you Graceland.

  2. timmy o sullivan

    Will it be coming to Dublin Ireland in the near future.

  3. Martyn Prince

    Hi,
    I would like some information please. I will be attending the exhibition at the O2 in London in January and I would like to know if I will be able to take photographs. I would assume that flash photography will be restricted, as this is normal practice with historical artefacts, but will we be able to take photos without the flash. The O2 have been non responsive in their reply to my enquiry, so I thought it would make sense to ask you directly. Thank you in advance for your reply.

  4. Elvis Fan70

    This is going to be so awesome for ELVIS’ legion of fans in the UK…and Europe.Both the Legendary ELVIS items and the personal items help bring about a greater understanding of the phenomenal life and achievements of ELVIS…And why his legend continues to grow – Worldwide.

  5. jackie jones

    Will it be touring the United States? It would be nice if it did. That way the fans here could enjoy getting up close to Elvis.

  6. Elvis Presley's Graceland

    Right now there are just plans for the event at The O2. If there are changes, we’ll let you all know!

    • Sandra Lecomber

      Im so looking forward to seeing all these wonderful things I’ve loved Elvis since I was 10 I’m now 68 nearly 69 and have been over to see Graceland teice now good luck with this xxxx

  7. Maurice Colgan

    Will Lisa Marie Presley and Priscilla be there sometime?

  8. Angela Simoes

    Please let me know when tickets go on sale?

  9. Kenny Duthie

    Hi, I’m not long back from my 3rd Graceland visit but I’m looking forward to travelling down from Scotland to visit this, I’m glad I’ve been lucky enough to view these things in Elvis’ home (although this trip wont takes as long to get there ;-)) but for fans that can’t make the Memphis trip this is a real blessing. Well done & I’ll see y’all on 16th August. TCB/TCE

  10. Judy Leer

    I had my first Elvis Week experience this year, travelling with Strictly Elvis. They made it a trip to remember for the rest of my life, and I can’t wait to go to the exhibition. I have my repeat tickets already.

  11. I’m going to visit the exhibition on December 13th & I’m really looking forward to it.
    I’ve never been to Graceland so for this to happen is a dream come true.
    Thank you to everyone that is allowing this to happen.
    Jo

  12. Stephanie Taubert

    How many people attended the exhibit at the 02?
    I think it’s wonderful that Europe was able to see so many of Elvis’ belongings up close and learn more about him.

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