How Indiana’s State Museum Bought Michael Jackson’s Jacket

Sources: IndyStar | All Things Michael

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To mark Indiana’s bicentennial, the Indiana State Museum is featuring an exhibit called “200 Objects,” which consists of widely varying items that represent Hoosierness. IndyStar is joining the celebration by highlighting an object a week during the exhibit’s run. 

When the Indiana State Museum wanted to buy a piece of Michael Jackson memorabilia being sold at auction, it found it couldn’t not compete for the big-ticket Jackson items. The King of Pop’s “Bad” tour jacket, even without the trousers, fetched $240,000.

Dale Ogden, the museum’s chief curator of history and culture, bid over the  phone on a number of Jackson items being sold in 2012 by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles. He kept getting outbid — even when he offered six figures for the jacket-and-pants ensemble Jackson wore during the “Bad” tour.

Ogden soon found out why. He’d been bidding against Lady Gaga. Gaga bought 55 pieces that day, the Los Angeles Times reported, including the “Bad” jacket and two of Jackson’s trademark crystal-encrusted white gloves. Each glove cost her more than $100,000, the newspaper reported.

“The 55 pieces I collected today will be archived & expertly cared for in the spirit & love of Michael Jackson, his bravery, & fans worldwide,” Gaga tweeted.

Ogden finally succeeded in procuring a jacket and  gold T-shirt Jackson wore during his 1992-93 “Dangerous World Tour.”

The Indiana State Museum bought the clothes for an amount “in the low five figures,” said Ogden.

They are not the items Jackson wore in the “Dangerous” tour’s most familiar photographs. Those costumes were equipped with a codpiece-type arrangement.  But the “Dangerous” tour was long — 69 concerts on four continents over 17 months, and Ogden was assured Jackson wore the jacket.

It is form-fitting, high-necked and looks a bit like a straitjacket. Ogden recalled Michael Bush, one of Jackson’s long-time costume designers, explaining it was inspired by European fencing uniforms.

 

Sources: IndyStar | All Things Michael

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