Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar

Exhibition Website

Oct 6 2016 - Jan 8 2017

Haggin Museum

Stockton, CA

Organized by the National Guitar Museum, Medieval to Metal traces the design and history of the world’s most popular musical instrument, from lutes and ouds to classical acoustic and modern electric instruments. In addition to forty varied and historic instruments, the exhibition includes illustrations and photographs of well-known guitar players of the last century and their instruments. 

“The guitar has been a signature element of world culture for more than 500 years,” explains Harvey Newquist, Executive Director of the National Guitar Museum. “Now visitors can explore the design history and artistry that has played a major role in the guitar’s evolution." The Moorish oud and European lute were popular in the Medieval era, prior to the development of the modern parlor guitar in the nineteenth century. In the early decades of the twentieth century, classical and steel-stringed acoustic guitars were being produced in increasing numbers by luthiers such as Martin and Gibson. By the 1940s, innovative guitar makers, including Rickenbacker and Fender, were experimenting with electrical pickups and amplifiers to make their instruments louder. Their success is evident in the striking electric guitars that make up the more recent segment of the exhibition.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

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