Final tour of popular guitar exhibition stops at Carnegie Science Center | Arts + Entertainment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Final tour of popular guitar exhibition stops at Carnegie Science Center

click to enlarge Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World - PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER
Photo: Courtesy of the Carnegie Science Center
Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Cleveland might have the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but Pittsburgh will give its rival city a run for its money with a new musical exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center.

Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World is described as being “packed with STEAM-based elements taking visitors through the science of sound and music with nearly 100 rare, antique, and unique guitars and a dozen hands-on interactives.” Opening Fri., May 20 and running through Oct. 30, the traveling show also gives museum visitors the chance to play a few chords on the world’s largest, playable electric guitar.

This year marks the final season for the touring exhibition, meaning local music fans who didn’t get to see it when it came to the Science Center in 2012 should experience it before it’s gone.


The show comes courtesy of The National Guitar Museum, a New York City-based organization dedicated to the “art, history, evolution, and cultural impact of the guitar.” The museum boasts that, as of 2022, its exhibitions have been booked into over 50 art museums, history museums, cultural venues, and science centers across the country.

“The guitar is the most enduring icon in American history,” says National Guitar Museum founder and executive director HP Newquist. “It has been around longer than baseball, basketball, soft drinks, and sports cars.”
click to enlarge Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World - PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER
Photo: Courtesy of the Carnegie Science Center
Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
While the exhibition includes everything from lutes and ouds to high-tech and experimental instruments, the centerpiece is the 43.5 feet long, 2,255-pound stringed behemoth certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Modeled after the 1967 Gibson Flying V, the guitar — according to the Bullock Texas State History Museum — was built between 1999 and 2000 as a science project at Conroe ISD’s Academy of Science & Technology outside of Houston, Texas. The National Guitar Museum acquired it in 2011.

“We are truly honored to showcase the history and science behind the instrument that has made a huge impact in our society,” says Jason Brown, the Henry Buhl, Jr. director of Carnegie Science Center. “The guitar has been part of American culture for hundreds of years.”

Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World. Fri., May 20-Oct. 30. Carnegie Science Center. One Allegheny Ave., North Side. Included with regular admission. carnegiesciencecenter.org

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