Blues and Rock art collection open to public at Cooley Law Lansing campus

Joseph Kimble, WMU-Cooley Law School distinguished professor emeritus, has for 30 years assembled a significant collection of blues and rock ‘n’ roll posters, photographs, original art and objects. His blues and rock art collection on the sixth floor of WMU-Cooley Law School’s Lansing campus will be open to the public Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. During the event, Kimble, who recently published the children’s book “Mr. Mouthful Learns His Lesson,” will also be holding a book signing.

The collection features more than 135 pieces. Several of the posters on display are by Gary Grimshaw, a prized rock poster artist who did seminal work for Detroit’s Grande Ballroom. Other items include original posters from the legendary early ’70s Ann Arbor Jazz & Blues festivals, and an ornate poster for Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour.

Many of the posters are signed and some have inscriptions. A poster for the film “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” is signed by the Funk Brothers, the backing group in most Motown recordings. There are also several pieces signed by Chuck Berry, who died in March of this year. While much of the work in Kimble’s collection has national importance, the gallery features local work created by Lansing-area artists as well.

The book signing will take place at 5:15 p.m. The lead character, Mr. Mouthful, is a man whose highfalutin talk causes trouble and confusion for kids. He learns his lesson when a little girl wanders off a dock, and needs to be rescued—fast. The book has been described by trade professionals as "unique," "lyrical," "funny" and "wonderfully absurd." It will be available for purchase at the event, and all proceeds will be donated to the Capital Area District Library.

Kimble joined WMU-Cooley Law School in 1984, and has taught legal writing for 35 years. He has won several national and international awards for his work in promoting plain language in public communication.