This summer, the featured exhibit at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire is titled Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar.
Medieval to Metal is a traveling exhibit curated and produced by the National GUITAR Museum. It debuted at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin in February, 2015 and has a tour schedule with bookings into 2022.
NGM launched its first (and on-going) traveling exhibit – GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World – in February, 2011.
The show at the Currier presents 40 instruments that “showcase the rare and antique to the wildly popular and innovative.” Besides the obligatory American-made icons (a Martin D-28, a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson Les Paul and a Rickenbacker 360/12), Medieval to Metal included three eye-catching European guitars from the 1960’s.
The Hagstrom Standard 80 (1960)
Hagstrom is a musical instrument company founded in Sweden in 1925. Originally selling accordions, the company began producing electric guitars in 1958. In designing the Standard 80, Hagstrom “took the standard electric cutaway shape and added flamboyant elements wherever possible.”
Hagstrom’s U.S. distributor decided to market the guitar in America as the Goya 80.
The Mark VI or Teardrop (1964)
The Jennings Musical Instruments company – JMI – was formed in 1957 in England to produce and market Vox guitar amplifiers. In 1963, JMI designed an electric guitar – the Mark III – with a body made in the shape of a guitar pick. The Mark VI featured the addition of a Bigsby tremolo arm.
The EKO 700 (1965)
EKO is an Italian acoustic guitar company founded in 1959. The company started producing its 700 series of electric guitars in 1965. The instrument’s design elements featured “dramatic curves, bold sparkle paint jobs, large swaths of chrome and more buttons than American guitars.”
As I like to say, “The world of guitar is a wide and wonderful place.”
I think I need to change that to: “…a wild and wonderful place.”
Would you agree?