There’s always something new going on at the Muhammad Ali Center! In addition to the permanent exhibitions and the items from the permanent collection on display, several times a year the Center will unveil new temporary exhibitions.
With the passing of Muhammad Ali on June 3, 2016, the Ali Center is honoring what would have been his 75th birthday with a special exhibition of tribute works.
Inspiration to Action: An Art Tribute to Muhammad Ali allows the Center to showcase unique art pieces that are in our collection, as well as on loan for this particular exhibition. On display will be a variety of art pieces in mediums from oils and acrylic to cut and dyed concrete paver, all creative pieces inspired by The Greatest!
Through dramatic multimedia presentations, interactive exhibits, historical video, countless images, and artifacts, you will learn about Muhammad Ali and his significant impact on the world: how Muhammad obtained greatness and then used it as a catalyst to do great things for the world and, in turn, inspire others to do the same. The visitor experience incorporates the six core principles of Muhammad Ali’s life: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality.
In September of 2016, we expanded our museum to include 1,640 square feet of new permanent interactive exhibits and 2,500 square feet of temporary exhibit space on our fourth floor.
Come inspire and be inspired. Share your story by answering the questions “What is your Red Bike Moment?” and “What are you fighting for?” and listen to others’ stories. Learn about Muhammad Ali’s humanitarian life with an interactive timeline that shares videos and photos of his work, some of which were previously unknown to the public. Explore the previous Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award ceremonies, and learn more about past award winners and their work. Commit to a pledge or affirmation, smile and say cheese, and receive a take-away poster to remember!
Your introduction to the exhibits begins with an innovative five-screen Orientation Theater film, If You Can Dream. You will be immersed in an inspirational 14-minute film that provides an overview of Muhammad’s iconic life and introduces you to his six core principles.
Each of the six pavilions help illustrate the “how’s” of Ali’s life: how he found the courage, the dedication and the discipline to become who he is today; how he found the conviction to stand up for what he believed and how he turned his passion for excellence in the ring to a passion for peace on the world stage.
This cone-shaped theater in the Confidence Pavilion demonstrates how Ali’s self-esteem and self-confidence inspired and gave new confidence to black Americans during the Civil Rights era. This intimate experience conveys the sense of a two-way mirror and within frames, character actors share personal experiences of racial hatred and racial pride, then gradually begin to view themselves as beautiful and potent citizens.
The Conviction Pavilion illustrates how Muhammad Ali put his beliefs into practice when he refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War and then maintained his stand in the face of a firestorm of criticism. Visitors are taken back in time through the interpretive panels and news reels of the Vietnam conflict; footage pertaining to Ali’s refusal into the draft; and other audio and images that illustrate this turbulent time in American history. Conviction is designed purposely to bombard the senses with lots of information and media, and dramatic, powerful shades of red.
What does it take to become a champion? In this multimedia presentation, visitors will learn how Muhammad Ali set goals, worked diligently and tirelessly—and with tremendous focus and commitment –in order to become the heavyweight champion. A parade of pictures, narratives and graphics from family, trainers, and observers complement the film.
Muhammad Ali’s journey of respect was one of personal growth, change, and maturation, which has been viewed in various ways by others. Through a series of clips and interviews, this multimedia piece offers insight into Ali’s actions and much fodder for thought for visitors.
While Muhammad Ali’s athletic achievements and flamboyant style were widely known, his kindness and generosity are qualities that received little or no coverage in the press—in part, because Ali has long believed that charitable acts are a human obligation but should not be broadcast. In the interactive Giving Pavilion, visitors will enjoy narrative photos and personal accounts that speak to occasions of Ali’s giving- or his approach to life that are the substance of the pavilion.
The essential message of this contemplative pavilion space is that spiritual centering can afford peace, truth, and meaning in one’s life regardless of the path we choose. Specific components of the exhibit include: an inspiring media piece projected onto the dome of the pavilion ceiling; an interactive exhibit of the six “truths” of religion, a timeline of Ali’s personal spiritual journey, and a display of spirituality through the natural world.
From a chronological timeline of Muhammad Ali’s success in the ring and an assortment of boxing memorabilia to powerful multimedia presentations, sports enthusiasts will enjoy the rich display of Muhammad’s professional boxing career. An award-winning film, The Greatest, projected onto a boxing ring canvas, features video clips, photographs and other footage of Ali bouts, and historical interviews.
An interactive and truly fun exhibit for kids of all ages, Train With Ali, is a re-creation of Muhammad Ali’s Deer Lake, Pennsylvania Training Camp. Visitors can try their hand at shadow boxing with the Champ, practice their rhythm on the speed bag, feel the power of an Ali punch on a heavy bag, and learn the techniques of the sport from champion boxer (and Muhammad’s daughter) Laila Ali.
Ali All the Time offers visitors the opportunity to view fifteen of Muhammad’s most famous fights “on demand.” This exhibit also incorporates pre- and post- fight material and original broadcast commentary.
In the Lighting the Way Theater, you will gain motivation to achieve your potential by re-living the memorable and pinnacle moment when Muhammad Ali carried the Olympic torch during the 1996 Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia. The experience provides powerful symbolism for you to find purpose and strength in your own life, to pass on concepts of respect, hope and understanding, and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Visitors will enjoy the striking and thought-provoking pieces of art and photography in the Howard L.Bingham and LeRoy Neiman Galleries. Both Bingham and Neiman spent a significant amount of time with Ali, capturing priceless moments that include public and private moments throughout the Champ’s life.
An exhibit space that initially focused on the exceptional photography of Mr. Howard Bingham, the Center’s Honorary Curator of Photography. Mr. Bingham was a devoted friend to Muhammad Ali since 1962, and is also a Board Member of the Center. The Gallery is now a key space for special art exhibitions held at the Center.
A changing exhibit space on the second level of the Muhammad Ali Center is named in tribute to the world-renowned artist and Ali friend LeRoy Neiman. The LeRoy Neiman Gallery features works selected by Mr. Neiman and his curator that record several well-known Ali bouts as well as more personal and emotional portraits. LeRoy Neiman passed away in 2012.