Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar

On View: 10/6/16 - 1/8/17

The guitar has been a signature element of world culture for more than 500 years. Now visitors can view Medieval To Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar and explore the design and artistry that has played a major role in the guitar’s evolution.

This touring exhibition organized by The National Guitar Museum (NGM) celebrates the artistic development of the guitar. As the guitar’s ancestors evolved over centuries from the earliest ouds and lutes, guitar makers experimented with shapes, materials, and accessories, seeking the perfect blend of beauty and sound.

The show features 40 iconic stringed instruments, ranging from an intricately inlaid Moorish oud, a six-foot long Renaissance theorbo, to guitars displaying the modern Italian design of the Eko and one with a stunning transparent acrylic body of California’s BC Rich guitars. Spanning centuries of design and craftsmanship, the exhibition takes visitors through the history of an object that is one of the most recognizable items on the planet.

Art and music transcend cultural boundaries while the most recognized musical instrument – the guitar – has influenced culture beyond music. Through the years the guitar and its shape have been integral elements for artists such as Vermeer and Picasso, and today they are incorporated into the advertisement of everything from clothes to cars. “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,” according to HP Newquist, executive director of the National Guitar Museum.

The “Medieval To Metal” exhibition 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.

Rock out with area musicians who will be dropping by on selected weekends during the run of Medieval To Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar. Or go solo and practice your chops on a real Fender guitar, one of four donated to the Haggin by the National Guitar Museum and Fender for the exhibition.

Join the fun at Haggin Museum!

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