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Yes, a Canadian museum really is putting on a Justin Bieber exhibition

8 January 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

The Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, Ontario, is not an institution generally associated with the foibles of showbusiness. Current exhibitions at the museum include displays dedicated to local war artist Duffy Dent, the story of the railways of Perth County, and various other archival displays on the area’s people and history.

But all that is set to change. On 18 February, the museum is planning to open an all-singing, all-dancing tribute to Stratford’s most famous son: one Justin Bieber. According to the Stratford Beacon Herald, the exhibition will celebrate the teenybop sensation’s life and career to date, from his early years spent busking on the steps of a local theatre to his globe-bestriding, primate-smuggling, latter day superstardom.

Entitled ‘Steps to Stardom’, the show will largely be made up of personal items offered to the museum by the singer’s family, and has been organised with the full cooperation of Bieber himself. ‘We […] had a very brief conversation with him here,’ said museum general manager John Kastner. ‘He was very appreciative – couldn’t have been nicer, and just expressed how much he appreciated the fact that the museum was doing an exhibit.’

Among the highlights of the display will be Bieber’s running shoes, his childhood hockey bag and a host of award statuettes. Given that the ‘Sorry’ singer has recently revealed a passion for painting on Instagram, Rakewell wonders whether the show will treat us to further fruits of Bieber’s artistry. Unlikely as it seems, ‘Never Say Never’

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