Replacements Photos Removed From University Of Minnesota Building

Replacements Photos Removed From University Of Minnesota Building

In 1985, hometown heroes the Replacements played a concert at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota. The setlist looks awesome. (They covered “September Gurls”!) At the gig, Minnesota music photographer Daniel Corrigan, who shot the iconic rooftop photo of the ‘Mats that became the cover of Let It Be, snapped some shots of the band in the Coffman elevator. Until recently, framed copies of two of those photos could be seen hanging at Coffman, but as Minneapolis resident Tim Johnson pointed out on Twitter, they’ve been removed.

A university librarian with the Twitter account @snackeru visited Coffman to inquire about the photos and was told by someone at the welcome desk that the photos were removed due to student complaints. Allegedly the university fields “dozens and dozens” of complaints about the pics every year because one of them shows Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg smoking. The clerk said it’s possible the photos will be placed somewhere else in the building, but “it won’t be for a while.”

However, a statement from the university’s Student Unions and Activities office indicates that student complaints were not the reason for the removal. The statement also clarifies that the photos have been “respectfully deaccessioned and returned to their owner,” a university employee who is a personal friend of the band. Here’s the statement:

The historic photos of The Replacements, which were displayed near the elevators in Coffman Memorial Union for nearly a decade, have been respectfully deaccessioned and returned to their owner. The artwork is privately owned by a University employee who has a personal relationship with the band and a passion for Minnesota’s local music history.

While there have been comments made about the photos over the years, the content of the photos was not a factor in the removal of the artwork. Accessibility is an important issue on campus, and Student Unions & Activities is in the process of updating the wayfinding signage in the Union’s spaces to make it easier for all to navigate. The space where the photos were displayed and others throughout the Union are being reevaluated as part of that larger project.

There is a display near The Whole Music Club relating to The Replacements’ history at the University of Minnesota. We are considering ways to continue honoring this important piece of Gopher legacy in the future.

Coincidentally, Tommy Stinson has a new album out today, and we just published a fantastic interview with him.

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