Immersive and interactive events are all the rage in Houston these days, bringing life to historic figures — take the current Immersive Van Gogh and the new Immersive Friday Kahlo. Now, locals can get to know Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the five-foot-one giant of American politics and Supreme Court judge, in a new exhibition coming to Holocaust Museum Houston.
Houston will be the sole Texas site for “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” which will be on view March 11 through July 31.
This new show is based on the New York Times bestselling book and Tumblr blog of the same name, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is the first-ever museum exhibition focused solely on Ginsburg, who passed away in 2020 but gained a new generation of fans as her image has adorned mugs, t-shirts, posters, and bobbleheads.
In keeping with the spirit of the Notorious RBG book, the exhibit riffs off the pop-culture connection between Ginsburg (Notorious RBG) and famed rapper Notorious B.I.G. Playing on that theme, each gallery section alludes to a song or lyric from the late hip-hop star. Ginsburg’s briefs and other writings, including some of her famously searing dissents, also are woven throughout the exhibit, according to a press release.
But before she was a pop culture phenom, Ginsburg was a student, wife, mother, lawyer, judge, and women’s rights pioneer. To that end, the show features three-dimensional environments that illustrate key moments of her life, such as recreations of her childhood Brooklyn apartment and of the Supreme Court bench.
Visitors will also get a glimpse of the Supreme Court justice’s marriage to Martin “Marty” Ginsburg, her husband of more than 50 years. More imagery includes family snapshots and even some of Marty’s favorite recipes; he was the family chef.
Other draws, per press materials, include a robe and jabot from Ginsburg’s Supreme Court wardrobe; multiple listening stations where visitors can hear RBG’s delivery of oral arguments, majority opinions and dissents in landmark Supreme Court cases; yearbooks from across her academic life; the desk in her chambers, and the official portraits of she and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first two women to serve on the Supreme Court, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.
Holocaust Museum Houston will hold special events and public programming, including a free day, March 15, which celebrates of Ginsburg’s birthday. Other key public events include the HMH NEXTGen’s Notorious Sip and Stretch Yoga March 30, Notorious RBG in Song performed by soprano/composer Patrice Michaels and internationally acclaimed pianist Andrew Harley May 18. The museum will also offer free admission during extended hours on select days.
“She may have stood only five foot one, but Justice Ginsburg was truly a giant in her work on equality and justice for all,” said HMH CEO Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga, in a statement. “Whether you are a fan or a law scholar, this exhibition is a love letter to a true American icon. Few in history have stood taller in exemplifying what it means to be an upstander. We are honored to be the only Texas museum to host this exhibition so her remarkable story can live on to inspire others.”
“Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”; Holocaust Museum Houston; 5401 Caroline St.; For tickets, schedule, and more information, visit the museum website.