The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has a special exhibition opening Nov. 10.
The world’s largest musical instrument museum is unveiling “Acoustic America: Iconic Guitars, Mandolins and Banjos” with activities, performances and more during the weekend of Nov. 10-12.
The exhibition will run through Sept. 15, 2024, taking visitors on a musical journey through American folk, blues, bluegrass and Americana.
“Acoustic America: Iconic Guitars, Mandolins and Banjo” features 90 historic stringed instruments — mandolins, guitars, banjos, ukuleles and more — that have shaped generations of American music since before the Civil War.
The exhibition illustrates the overlapping histories of exceptional soloists and songwriters, groundbreaking manufacturers and novel inventions, illuminating how diverse origins combine into enduring traditions.
Fun places to go:The best fall festivals in metro Phoenix, from hot air balloons to huge arts fests
What instruments are displayed at MIM’s ‘Acoustic America’ exhibit?
Among the highlights are instruments owned and played by banjo superstar and bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs, folk icon Elizabeth Cotten, blues musician Mississippi John Hurt, country music pioneer Ira Louvin of the Louvin Brothers, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, stars of the Grand Ole Opry and others.
More than 30 instruments from the personal collection of mandolin virtuoso David Grisman are on public display for the first time.
There’s even a 1929 dobro that was played by the Kentucky Colonels (appearing as the Country Boys) on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
‘Acoustic America’ opening weekend events at MIM Phoenix
Here’s a full schedule of opening weekend events:
9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Craft: Banjo allows you to make your own banjo.
9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Instrument Spotlight: Autoharp: Strum a melody on the autoharp, a string instrument from the zither family.
9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Photo Booth: Have your picture taken in the photo booth. Digitally share your pictures and tag #MIMphx for a chance to be featured on the museum’s social media.
1:30-1:45 p.m.: Instrument Demonstration: Banjo is a quick, fun demonstration with Rich Walter, MIM’s curator for United States/Canada.
2:30-3 p.m.: Curator Talk: Rich Walter. Join Walter for a talk about the musical influences and traditions of acoustic instruments.
Saturday and Sunday
9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Craft: Banjo.
9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Instrument Spotlight: Autoharp.
9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Photo Booth.
11:30 a.m.-noon: Lecture and Instrument Demonstration: Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. Learn about the craftsmanship of guitars with the longest-running guitar-making school in North America.
12:30-1 p.m.: Gallery Tour and Q&A with Curator Rich Walter. Explore “Acoustic America” with MIM’s curator for United States/Canada.
1:15-2 p.m.: Performance: The Badly Bent. Listen to the Americana sounds of the Badly Bent.
2:30-3 p.m.: Curator Talk: Rich Walter.
3:15-4 p.m.: Performance: Eric Ramsey. Listen to bluegrass and the blues from International Blues Challenge winner.
Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix
Where: 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix.
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Admission: Museum admission is $20, $15 for ages 13-19, $10 for ages 4-12, free for age 3 and younger. Admission to the museum and “Acoustic America” is $14-$27. Admission to “Acoustic America” only is $4-$10.
Details: 480-478-6000, mim.org.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.