Don’t Tell Killmonger, but the Smithsonian’s African American Museum Is Going to Show Black Panther’s Vibranium Suit

The prop Panther costume will be seen alongside the institution's first-ever film festival in October.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company, © Marvel/ Matt Kennedy.

Items from the Hollywood smash Black Panther, including actor Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther battle armor, are coming to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Memorabilia including the superhero’s iconic catsuit, a script signed by director Ryan Coogler and various studio executives, two pages of spec script, and 24 high-resolution behind-the-scenes photos, were generously donated to the museum by Marvel Studios and the Disney Company. They now become permanent parts of its collection. 

And soon, fans will get to see them in person. The items are set to go on temporary display during the four-day run of the Smithsonian’s inaugural African American Film Festival in October (which is still taking submissions). Beyond that, a press release says that the museum is weighing options for how to integrate the props into the museum’s permanent display.

The character of the Black Panther was invented by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, the first African character to appear in US comic books. The movie, which was released in February to critical and popular acclaim, made $202 million in its opening weekend, making it the fifth-highest grossing opening weekend in cinema history and the biggest solo superhero movie launch of all time.

“The origin story of the Black Panther character started in the late 1960s, during the height of the civil rights movement—a critical period in American history and an era that the museum explores in many of its exhibitions,” the museum said in a release. “Black Panther illustrates the progression of blacks in film, an industry that in the past has overlooked blacks, or regulated them to flat, one-dimensional and marginalized figures. The film, like the museum, provides a fuller story of black culture and identity.”

We're excited to announce the acquisition of several objects related to Black Panther! ??‍♀️??‍♂️??‍♀️??‍♂️Black…

Posted by Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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