Beginning Saturday, February 18, 2023, the Tubman Museum will open the Tyler Perry Exhibition featuring the work and life of American filmmaker, actor, playwright, author, songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Tyler Perry. The exhibit marks the first time Perry will be featured in a museum chronicling his work and life, offering a one-of-kind glimpse into his life — which includes 17 feature films, 20 stage plays, seven television shows and a New York Times bestseller.
The Tyler Perry Exhibition had a private, red-carpet grand opening gala on Friday, February 17. The installation will remain at the Tubman Museum for two years, through February 2025.
Recognizing the powerful influence and inspiration Perry’s work has had on African Americans, Tubman Museum Executive Director Harold Young has said he believes Perry “embodies the traits and characteristics of Harriet Tubman, who broke down barriers and inspired hundreds of enslaved people to escape the drudgery of their lives.”
“Tyler Perry’s life is comparable to Harriet Tubman: once you overcome something, you can elevate someone, bring them up with you,” Young said. “Our museum focuses on the art, history, and culture of black people, and this is what Tyler Perry is all about. He’s an artist, and there’s a history being made that he brings out in his movies, plays, and shows.”
Growing up in Louisiana, Perry endured years of abuse by his father, which led him to slip into depression. Ultimately, Perry found inspiration, using his talent to create relatable characters. The museum’s objective is to showcase his story.
“The exhibit will enlighten a lot of people about parts of Mr. Perry’s life that they, most likely, didn’t know,” said Mark E. Swinton, Senior VP of scripted programming at Tyler Perry’s studios. “You know, he is a big celebrity and a public figure, but as you walk in [to the exhibit], you’ll get a sense of who he is today and what his journey was like.”
Perry has eloquently stated in the past: “If you’re working towards a goal, and you believe it, you can see it.”
Swinton continued: “This exhibit will be there to inspire people from all walks of life, and the team at Tyler Perry Studios is committed; we want to do this, and we’re excited to be part of something that will inform and uplift. I think Mr. Perry’s life will resonate with people — whether they’re rich or poor, African American or not — they’ll be able to walk away and take something from this.”
Proud Partners of The Tyler Perry Exhibit at the Tubman Museum are IATSE, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, FilmHedge, GreenSlate, GSB Architects, New Belgium Brewing, and RiseImpact.