The Museum of Arts & Sciences will premiere Sept. 19 a new exhibit, “Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of The Guitar,” a touring exhibit that celebrates the artistic development of the guitar.
Developed by The National Guitar Museum, this show features 40 objects ranging from the intricately inlaid Moorish oud and six-foot long Renaissance theorbo on to the modern Italian design of the Eko and transparent acrylic body of California’s BC Rich guitars. Spanning centuries of design and craftsmanship, the exhibit takes visitors through the history of an object that is one of the most recognizable items on the planet.
“Over the past several years, interest in the guitar as an icon has grown significantly,” said HP Newquist, NGM executive director, in a news release. “The guitar has been a signature element of world culture for more than 500 years; now visitors can explore the design history and artistry that has played a major role in the guitar’s evolution.”
The guitar pervades culture beyond music. It was an integral element of the work of both Vermeer and Picasso, and today it is incorporated into advertising everything from clothes and cars to the Olympics. “It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t been affected by the guitar, whether as players or just fans of all types of music. And while this may be apocryphal,” Mr. Newquist added, “it’s a widely held belief that the two most recognizable man-made shapes on the planet are those of the Coca-Cola bottle and the electric guitar.”
“We are so excited to be hosting this exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Sciences and have been looking forward to its arrival for a long time now,” said Andrew Sandall, MOAS Executive Director, in the release. “As a guitarist myself for over 30 years, I cannot wait for people to be able to see all of these instruments displayed together, and to see how modern guitars still share their DNA with the medieval instruments on display, despite being able to make some very different noises.”
The “Medieval to Metal” exhibit also includes life-size photorealistic illustrations of historically important guitar designs from noted artist Gerard Huerta, and 20 photographs of acclaimed musicians and their guitars from Neil Zlozower, one of the world’s premier concert photographers. “Medieval to Metal” will be on display at the MOAS through Jan. 20.