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Arts

New Exhibit Explores the History Of The Guitar at the Bullock Museum

Guitar Exhibit Entry at the Bullock Museum in Austin.

A new exhibition opening May 19 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum takes visitors on a journey through more than 5,000 years of guitar history, from its origins in the ancient world to today.GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World immerses visitors in the science, sound, history, and cultural importance of the iconic instrument.

  "This exhibition is a perfect fit for the Bullock Museum in Austin, and Texas as a whole, with our talented musicians' rich legacy and innovation in producing music across all genres," said Bullock Museum Director Margaret Koch. "From the oldest to the youngest, GUITAR is designed for exploration of the music-makers that unite our communities."

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World was created by the National GUITAR Museum in New York. It features more than 60 guitars, including examples of the instrument’s early ancestors and close relatives, 19th and 20th century styles that introduce well-known names like Martin, Gibson and Fender, recognizable designs made popular by famous musicians, and unique guitars that reflect the advanced technology of today. Visitors will also experience video performances, a luthier's workbench, and stunning x-ray images of the inner workings of the instrument.

“The guitar is the most enduring icon in American history,” said HP Newquist, Executive Director and Founder of the National GUITAR Museum. “It has been around longer than baseball, basketball, soft drinks, and sports cars. This exhibition is a celebration of all that, and more.” 

The exhibition also features the world's largest playable guitar, a 1967 Gibson Flying V reissue replica created by students at the Academy of Science and Technology in The Woodlands, Texas. The giant instrument measures 43 feet 7.5 inches long by 16 feet 5.5 inches wide and was certified by Guinness World Records in 2001 and 2017.

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World is on view May 19 through August 15, 2021. Bullock Museum members will celebrate the new exhibition with an exclusive online event on May 26, and the Museum will present corresponding public programming throughout the summer. For more information, visit thestoryoftexas.com.