Motorcycles, yes. But Harley-Davidson is so much more. See how far our world reaches.


Worn to be Wild:
The Black Leather Jacket

Originally on display June 16 – Sept 3, 2012

The black leather jacket. Rebellion. Sex appeal. Confidence. Rock ’n’ roll.

The motorcycle jacket acquired its symbolic identity over the last half of the 20th century. Its roots go even deeper, and its current meaning embodies some interesting contradictions. It evolved from earlier leather garments developed to protect their wearers from danger. Today it carries a suggestion that its wearer is a little dangerous. It was adopted by rugged—or ragged—individualists who rejected mainstream ideas of fashion. It has now become a crucial accessory of the fashion-conscious.

The story of the black leather jacket is pretty simple, but the layers of association and significance it has accumulated are quite complex. Each succeeding generation adds its own new set of meanings.


Now At The Museum

Program and Tours

Calendar Of Events

Steel Toe Tour
January 24

Steel Toe Tour
January 29

Steel Toe Tour
January 31

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Adult $20
Senior (age 65+) $14
US Military (w/ID) $14
Student (w/ID) $14
Child (age 5-17) $10
Child under 5 Free
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May-September - Daily: 9am-6pm
(Thursday, 9am-8pm)
October-April - Daily: 10am-6pm
(Thursday, 10am-8pm)

Harley-Davidson Museum
400 W Canal Street
Milwaukee, WI 53201
1-877-HD-MUSEUM or 414-287-2789

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