This August, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) debuts the exclusive presentation of “It’s Alive! Classic Horror And Sci-Fi Art From The Kirk Hammett Collection”. Kirk Hammett, best known as the lead guitarist of METALLICA, is also an avid collector of classic horror and sci-fi movie posters. This exhibition features 90 works that provide insight into the evolution of horror and sci-fi films and how they have played upon contemporary societal fears. Hammett acknowledges his poster collection as a source of inspiration for his own musical creativity. The exhibition, on view August 12 through November 26, features film posters as well as collectible electric guitars, monster masks and sculptures.
* First major exhibition of Kirk Hammett‘s world-renowned collection
* Exhibition features 75 posters, 6 guitars and 10 related images
* Features work by legendary graphic designers as well as unidentified masters
* Explores our complicated relationship to fear as well as how this artwork fuels Kirk Hammett‘s creativity
* The Undead (“Dracula”, “The Mummy”, “Frankenstein”)
* The Collector
* Classic Tales
* Other Realms (“Aliens”, “The Deep”)
* Women And Power
* Horror Spoofs
* The Eyes
* Mad Science
A 120-page exhibition catalogue with 90 color illustrations, “It’s Alive! Classic Sci-Fi And Horror Movie Posters From The Kirk Hammett Collection” is edited by Daniel Finamore, PEM‘s Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History. This generously illustrated book highlights the finest examples from Hammett‘s personal collection—an astonishing trove of horror and sci-fi film posters that span the history of the genre—along with intriguing essays by Daniel Finamore, Joseph LeDoux and Steve Almond on the rise of horror culture and the rise it gives us. R. Kikuo Johnson illustrated the eye-popping cover. The catalogue is published by the Peabody Essex Museum and Skira Rizzoli. The catalogue is available for pre-order through PEM Shop at the museum and online.
Speaking about his love of all things horror and the parallels between horror movies and heavy metal, Hammett said: “Heavy metal and horror movies come from the same sources, they come from the same seeds, they have a lot of the same imagery and subject matter and whatnot. And for myself, part of the appeal of horror movies is coming in contact with my own mortality but not having to pay the price. Or, like, reliving a death or something without having to go through the actual experience. Bringing yourself to a point where you’re maybe in a state of fear, but for your own pleasure.”
He continued: “Watching a good horror movie makes my adrenaline go. And for me, it’s great, it’s the ultimate. I mean, some people like action films. Me, [I like] horror movies.”
Hammett released a coffee table book in 2012 called “Too Much Horror Business” that featured photos of his extensive collection of monster and horror memorabilia.
He displayed a portion of his collection in the “Kirk’s Crypt” exhibition during the 2012 and 2013 Orion Music + More festivals.
The METALLICA guitarist is also known as the Fear FestEvil horror convention organizer.
Photo credit: Allison White