(Buffalo N.Y.) – A new exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science highlights the history and evolution of the guitar through a scientific lens.
The exhibit entitled “GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World” features 60 guitars, nearly 100 artifacts and performance video. It also includes interactive displays, such as a virtual fretboard that patrons can play riffs on to test their ability to remember complex patterns.
“Really guitar is the single most enduring icon in American history. There are more guitars made every year than all instruments combined,” said Jackie Jonmaire, director of marketing and public relations for the museum.
Jonmaire told the Buffalo Review there are more than 3 million guitars produced annually in the U.S.
“When you’re experiencing a live concert and watching a true artist utilize this instrument to really make a connection with the audience, I think it’s something that is really special,” said Jonmaire.
The exhibit also features a 43.5-foot guitar, which holds the Guinness World Record for largest playable guitar. “It does make noise when you strum the strings. It has been an incredible piece of the exhibit that the guests have really been enjoying,” said Jonmaire.
“We have everything from a guitar made out of (an) armadillo, to an air guitar; since air guitar is sort of an important part of our cultural history, when it comes to music,” said Jonmaire. She said the air guitar display is simply an “empty case.”
The exhibition originates from the National Guitar Museum, which has been traveling to museums across the country since 2011 while organizers search for a permanent location. Jonmaire said this is the first time the exhibit has visited the state of New York.
Patrons can also see guitars created by famed guitar inventors and designers including George Beauchamp, Leo Fender and Les Paul. “We do have a Lucille guitar from B.B. King that was signed by him,” said Jonmaire.
Jonmaire said the guitar exhibit is appropriate for all ages. “If you’re 2 years old or 82 years old, there is something that will be interesting for you to explore,” said Jonmaire.
The exhibit will be on display at the Buffalo Museum of Science through May 7.